Physiotherapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: oscillatory breathing with flutter VRP1 Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by sputum production and cough. It has been shown that mucus hypersecretion predisposes to recurrent bronchial infection and that reduction in airway secretions is associated with clinical improvement. Recently a new pipe-shaped device for chest physiotherapy, the flutter VRP1 ("VarioRaw:" Aubonne, Switzerland), was introduced in order to help clear bronchial hypersecretion. We determined the long-term efficacy of daily chest physiotherapy with the VRP1 in COPD and bronchial hypersecretion. 13 men and 7 women with COPD and sputum hypersecretion were studied; 10 were assigned to the physiotherapy group, and 10 to the control group getting sham therapy. After 3 months of physiotherapy, FVC, FEV1 and distance walked in 12 minutes increased in the treated group, but were almost unchanged in the sham-treated group. Arterial blood gases, the maximum voluntary ventilation, and respiratory rate at rest were unchanged in both groups. There was also an overall significant improvement in COPD symptoms in the physiotherapy group compared to baseline (p < 0.05). We conclude that long-term home physiotherapy with the flutter VRP1 is effective in COPD in improving airflow, functional ability and symptoms.

publication date

  • August 1, 1996