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Obstructive Lung Diseases |

The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Dyspnea and Exercise Tolerance During Exercise in COPD Patients

Afrodite Evangelodimou, MS; Eirini Grammatopoulou, PhD; Emmanouil Skordilis; Aikaterini Haniotou, MD
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Technological Educational Institution of Athens, Athens, Greece


Chest. 2015;148(4_MeetingAbstracts):704A. doi:10.1378/chest.2277852
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Abstract

SESSION TITLE: COPD Posters III

SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Poster

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: Dyspnea is the main limiting symptom in COPD patients during their activities of daily living. Diaphragmatic breathing contributes in the reduction of the energy cost of breathing and the control of dyspnea at rest in patients with COPD.The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of diaphragmatic breathing on dyspnea and exercise tolerance in COPD patients.

METHODS: 14 COPD patients (FEV1 = 44±5% predicted) performed two constant load exercise tests, at 75% of their peak work load in a cyclic ergometer. Each exercise session lasted 6 minutes. During the first exercise session, the patients were guided to breath slowly and deeply (diaphragmatic breathing), while during the second session they were instructed to breath with their own breathing pattern. Dyspnea and leg fatigue were recorded every 2 minutes (Borg scale). In order to identify the changes in breathing patterns, other respiratory parameters were recorded too at the same time periods (respiratory rate, expiratory time, minute ventilation, tidal volume and oxygen saturation). The two sessions were counterbalanced. The SPSS for windows was used for data analyses, with several 2 X 4 ANOVAs.

RESULTS: The repeated measures analyses revealed that the diaphragmatic breathing pattern (slow and deep breathing) during exercise led to a significant reduction in the sensation of dyspnea (p = 0.04) and leg fatigue (p < 0.001), compared to the personal breathing pattern. These differences were attributed to the reduction of respiratory rate (p = 0.03), and the increase of expiratory time (p = 0.02), minute ventilation (p = 0.048), tidal volume (p = 0.047) and oxygen saturation (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed that diaphragmatic breathing reduced the sensation of dyspnea and fatigue during exercise in COPD patients.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: As the study showed, the change in breathing pattern can help COPD patients to exercise with less dyspnea and fatigue, increasing their exercise tolerance. By adopting this slower and deeper breathing pattern during the activities of daily living, maybe these patients can perform these activities with the same benefits.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Afrodite Evangelodimou, Eirini Grammatopoulou, Emmanouil Skordilis, Aikaterini Haniotou

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