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Breathing retraining in children

...does it impact asthma symptoms and dysfunctional breathing?

Asthma is the most common cause of urgent hospital attendances. Dysfunctional breathing, which is a frequent comorbidity of asthma, can contribute to poor asthma control and mimic asthma symptoms.

Breathing retraining is the main treatment for dysfunctional breathing and in clinical practice, often a variety of techniques are employed. There is limited evidence in paediatrics of the impact of a physiotherapy service on asthma control and dysfunctional breathing.

Individualised physiotherapy interventions, which consisted predominantly of Buteyko breathing techniques, in addition to standard medical management, significantly improved asthma symptom scores and significantly decreased dysfunctional breathing in children on all levels of asthma treatment.

There was a 35 percent prevalence of dysfunctional breathing in children with asthma attending these physiotherapy sessions, higher than previously recorded in literature, which may be due to the fact that this service was provided at tertiary level. There is no gold standard tool to assess dysfunctional breathing in children, capturing both, breathing pattern disorder in addition to symptoms.

This demonstrates the need for specialist physiotherapists with skills in breathing retraining working in children with asthma.

> From: Hepworth, Pediatr Pulmonol 54 (2019) 706-712 . All rights reserved to Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Click here for the online summary.

Article imageA: Mean Asthma Control Test score change using standard error of mean (SEM) (P<0.0001); B: Mean Childhood Asthma Control Test score change using standard error of mean (SEM) (P<0.0001).

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