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2007 - Integrated breathing and relaxation training (the Papworth method) for adults with asthma in primary care: a randomised controlled trial

Eighty-five patients were individually randomised to the control group or to the intervention group receiving five sessions of treatment by the Papworth method. Both groups received usual medical care. Respiratory symptoms and mood scores were recorded at baseline, post-treatment (6 months after baseline) and at 12 months. The primary outcome measure was the St George’s Respiratory Symptoms Questionnaire (SGRQ). Secondary outcome measures included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Nijmegen dysfunctional breathing questionnaire and objective measures of respiratory function.

‘Dysfunctional breathing commonly occurs in asthma but is poorly recognised and managed. This study suggests that the Papworth method is effective at reducing respiratory symptoms and improving quality of life in patients with asthma.’

Further controlled trials are warranted to confirm this finding, assess the effect in other patient groups and determine whether there is some effect on objective measures of respiratory function.

Holloway EA, West RJ Use of the Papworth method for adults with asthma
Thorax 2007; 62:1039-42

The Papworth method is a specific diaphragmatic breathing technique that was developed in the 1960s. The technique has many similarities to the Buteyko method with emphasis on nose breathing and the development of a breathing pattern to suit current activity.

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