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Do COPD patients taught pursed lips breathing (PLB) for dyspnoea management continue to use the technique long-term? A mixed methodological study

Abstract

Objective

To investigate whether COPD patients taught pursed lips breathing (PLB) for dyspnoea management continue to use the technique long-term and, if so, their experience of this.

Design

A mixed methodological approach using semi-structured telephone interviews, a focus group and observation of current PLB technique was used. Qualitative analysis was based on grounded theory.

Setting

Participants were recruited from the two inner city London (UK) boroughs.

Participants

A purposive sample of 13 patients with COPD taught PLB 6 to 24 months previously. 11 participants took part in the telephone interviews; focus group participation and observed PLB was 5/11 and 6/11 respectively.

Main outcome measures

A thematic analysis of interviews and focus group; observation of PLB technique.

Results

Nine reported on-going use of PLB with 8 reporting definite benefit. Observed technique showed ongoing ability for PLB to reduce RR and increase SpO2. Four distinct themes emerged from the data: use of PLB when short of breath due to physical activity (8/9), increased confidence and reduced panic (4/9), use as an exercise (3/9), use at night (3/9). Those that had discontinued PLB had done so because it didn’t help (2) and they had forgotten/were too busy to continue.

Conclusion

This study found 9 of 13 of patients taught PLB continued with long-term use and 8 of 13 reporting definite benefit from PLB. The role of PLB in increasing patients’ confidence in their ability to manage their breathlessness and, use at night, were novel findings.

Cite this article

Do COPD patients taught pursed lips breathing (PLB) for dyspnoea management continue to use the technique long-term? A mixed methodological study.

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