This paper reviews 169 children who attended a physiotherapy outpatient clinic for suspected dysfunctional breathing alongside asthma. Children completed questionnaires on first and final appointments and attended a mean of six physiotherapy sessions, which focused around Buteyko breathing techniques and education.
Buteyko is a breathing retraining technique that utilises nasal and diaphragmatic breathing to establish a normal respiratory rate, volume and pattern of breathing. Techniques used were continual nose breathing at rest and during exercise with the use of mouth tape as required and more advanced techniques such as the control pause, extended pause, reduced breathing and the stop cough.
Asthma control significantly improved in both children aged ≥ 12 years (via the Asthma Control Test, ACT) as well as children aged 4-11 years (via the Childhood Asthma Control Test, CACT). There was no significant difference in results for children on the highest levels of asthma medication compared to lower levels.
Moreover, there was a significant improvement in dysfunctional breathing symptoms, measured via the Nijmegen Questionnaire. There was no significant difference in results for children on the highest levels of asthma medication compared to lower levels, however those who had high levels of dysfunctional breathing symptoms at baseline had a significantly greater response to treatment.