Effect of Short-term Respiratory Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation on Peak Expiratory Flow Rate and Six-minute Walk Test in Patients with Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Quasi-experimental Study
Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Department of PMR, RMMCH, Annamalai University,
Chidambaram-608002, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) of respiratory muscles was found to improve lung function and haemodynamic parameters in mechanically ventilated patients. It has been proven that respiratory PNF had immediate significant effects in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients. As pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD patients is a long-term hospital based service, there arises a need to provide a therapy that provides optimal benefit in short term.
Aim: To study the effect of short term respiratory PNF on Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) and six-minute walk test in patients with stable COPD.
Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental study was carried out in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital at Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Twelve male COPD patients attending Medicine Department outpatient service between December 2020 to January 2021 were conveniently recruited. They were assessed for their PEFR using peak flow meter and exercise tolerance by six-minute walk test. They were treated with three respiratory PNF techniques namely, intercostal stretch, vertebral pressure high and anterior stretch by lifting posterior basal area for five consecutive days. Each treatment session lasted for about 30-40 minutes. The post intervention assessment of PEFR and six-minute walk was made. The pre and post intervention data were statistically analysed using paired samples t-test.
Results: In this study, the mean age of the participants was 63.0 ± 5.80 years. The mean post intervention measurement of PEFR (226.67±51.09 L/min) and six-minute walk distance (271.92±50.55 m) was found to be significantly higher (p=0.001) than the mean pre interventional values (165.42±46.19; 219.58±43.24 respectively).
Conclusion: Implementation of respiratory PNF techniques on short term basis optimally improves the functional exercise capacity and PEFR in patients with stable COPD.