The need for breathing training techniques: the elephant in the heart failure cardiac rehabilitation room: a randomized controlled trial

Abeer Farghaly, Donna Fitzsimons, Judy Bradley, Magda Sedhom, Hady Atef

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Abstract

Although solid evidence has indicated that respiratory symptoms are common amongst patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), state-of-the-art cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs do not typically include management strategies to address respiratory symptoms. This study investigated the effect of the addition of breathing exercises (BE) to the CR programs in CHF. In a two parallel-arm randomized controlled study (RCT), 40 middle-aged patients with CHF and respiratory symptoms were recruited and randomized into two equal groups ( = 20); group (A): standard CR with BE and group (B): standard CR alone. Primary outcomes were respiratory parameters and secondary outcomes included cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary outcomes. All the participants attended a program of aerobic exercise (three sessions/week, 60-75% MHR, 45-55 min) for 12 weeks, plus educational, nutritional, and psychological counseling. Group (A) patients attended the same program together with BE using inspiratory muscle training (IMT) and breathing calisthenics (BC) (six sessions/week, 15-25 min) for the same duration. There was a significant improvement in the respiratory outcomes, and most of the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary outcomes in both groups with a greater change percentage in group A ( < 0.05). These results indicate that the addition of BE to the CR programs in CHF is effective and is a "patient-centered" approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14694
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number22
Early online date09 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • breathing calisthenics
  • Heart Failure - therapy - psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Exercise Therapy - methods
  • Breathing Exercises - methods
  • chronic heart failure
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • inspiratory muscle training
  • Chronic Disease
  • breathing training

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