• Can physiotherapy breathing exercises improve lung function and quality of life in patients with heart failure?

      Fallows, Stephen; Collins, Susan K. (University College ChesterLeighton Hospital, 2005-11-16)
      The purpose of the study was to determine whether it is possible to increase lung function and quality of life in patients with diagnosed heart failure, by teaching the active cycle of breathing technique (ACBT), traditionally used by physiotherapists for patients with respiratory conditions. Eleven participants were recruited, seven males and four females with an average age of 74 years for the repeated measures study. Participants were taught and performed the ACBT three times a day for eight weeks. Lung function and quality of life was assessed pre and post intervention using a vitalograph, for five variables of lung function and the short form 36 (SF36) questionnaire for physical and mental scores respectively. The data generated was statistically analysed using a paired t-test for lung function and Wilcoxon test for SF36. The results for lung function and physical SF36 were statistically significant, therefore proving the hypothesis that ACBT can affect lung volume and quality of life in heart failure patients. Although, not statistically significant there was a percentage increase in the mental SF36 scores. The conclusions drawn demonstrate the benefits of using ACBT in this group of patients and the positive implications this could have in the management of the symptoms of heart failure and indicates a service development need for physiotherapy input, using ACBT, in this group of patients, in conjunction with traditional pharmacological modalities.