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Title: Chest physical therapy, breathing techniques and exercise in children with CF
Authors: McIlwaine, Maggie
Keywords: Cystic fibrosis
Chest physiotherapy
Postural drainage and percussion
Active cycle of breathing
Forced expiration
Autogenic drainage
Airway clearance techniques
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Chest physiotherapy in the form of airway clearance techniques and exercise has played an important role in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Until the 1990s the primary airway clearance technique used was postural drainage combined with percussion and vibration (PD&P). It was introduced into the treatment of CF with little evidence to support its efficacy and once established, it has been difficult ethically to perform a study comparing PD&P to no treatment. A common question, yet unanswered is when should it be commenced, especially for the newly diagnosed asymptomatic CF patient? Recently, the technique of PD&P has been modified to include only non-dependant head-down positioning due to the detrimental effects of placing a person in a Trendelenburg position. In the 1990s other airway clearance techniques gained popularity, in that they could be performed independently, in a sitting position and avoided many of the detrimental effects of PD&P. These techniques include the Active cycle of breathing technique, formally called the Forced expiration technique and Autogenic drainage. Both these breathing techniques aim at using expiratory airflow to mobilize secretions up the airways and incorporate breathing strategies to assist in the homogeneity of ventilation. Studies suggest that both these techniques are as effective if not more effective than as PD&P and offer many advantages over PD&P. It has been suggested that exercise can be used as an airway clearance technique; however the literature does not support this. Rather, when exercise is used in addition to an airway clearance technique there is enhanced secretion removal and an overall benefit to the patient. Further research needs to be directed at assessing the effects of an airway clearance technique on the individual patient using appropriate outcome measures.
ISSN: 1526-0542
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