Effects of inspiratory muscle training and breathing exercises in children with asthma: a systematic review

  • Tayná Castilho Mestre em Fisioterapia pela Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC)
  • Bianca Dana Horongozo Itaborahy Mestre em Fisioterapia pela Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC)
  • Andreza Hoepers Graduada em Fisioterapia pela Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC)
  • Joyce Nolasco de Brito Graduada em Fisioterapia pela Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC)
  • Ana Carolina da S. Almeida Mestre em Fisioterapia pela Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC)
  • Camila Isabel Santos Schivinski Doutora em Saúde da Criança e do Adolescente pela Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da UNICAMP. Professora dos cursos de graduação e pós-graduação em Fisioterapia pela UDESC
Keywords: Asthma, Breathing exercise, Child


Introduction: Asthma is characterized by a narrowing and inflammation of the bronchi, with symptoms of dyspnea, fatigue and exercise limitation. Physical therapy includes inspiratory muscle training and breathing exercises, given that an increase in inspiratory muscle strength and resistance can improve the symptoms of the disease.

Objective: To describe the effects of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) and breathing exercises in children with asthma.

Methods: This is a systematic review of the literature using the Cochrane, PubMed Scopus e Web of Science databases. The following descriptors were used: asthma, inspiratory muscle training, breathing exercises and child in Portuguese, English and Spanish. Two independent evaluators screened studies that used breathing exercises and IMT in children with asthma.

Results: Of a total of 312 titles, eight studies were included, of which six are randomized clinical trials and two are observational studies All the studies included breathing exercises, with the objective of adjusting breathing patterns and pulmonary ventilation, reducing pulmonary hyperinflation, bronchospasm and sensation of dyspnea. However, as these exercises were not performed solely, the effects of this intervention could not be verified. Two studies performed IMT and showed an increase in maximal respiratory pressure.

Conclusion: Breathing exercises are widely used in clinical practice as part of the management of asthma in children; however it is not possible to measure the effects in this population. IMT seems to improve inspiratory and expiratory muscle strength, but its indication in the pediatric population is not a standard procedure.


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