University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-470
Number of pages6
Early online date27 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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 theorySetting : Participants were recruited from the two inner city London (UK) boroughsParticipants : A purposive sample of 13 patients with COPD taught PLB 6 - 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.


© 2016 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). For further details please see:

ID: 10206474