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High-frequency airway oscillating device for respiratory muscle training in subjects with COPD

Daynes, Enya; Greening, Neil J.; Harvey-Dunstan, Theresa C.; Singh, Sally J.


Enya Daynes

Neil J. Greening

Theresa C. Harvey-Dunstan

Sally J. Singh


BACKGROUND: COPD is characterized by expiratory flow limitation, which results in symptomatic dyspnea and reduced exercise capacity. Changes in breathing mechanics mean the respiratory muscles are unable to respond to the ventilatory demands, increasing the sensation of dyspnea. A high-frequency oscillating device has been developed to improve dyspnea in patients with COPD. We conducted a feasibility trial to gain insight into the potential for recruitment, retention, and study design for a future randomized controlled trial.
METHODS: Symptomatic subjects with COPD were included on the basis of a Medical Research Council (MRC) score ≥ 3 and FEV1/FVC < 0.70). Patients were excluded if they received pulmonary rehabilitation within the last 6 months. The intervention employed the device for 8 weeks, 3 times daily. Clinical outcomes included the MRC score, maximal expiratory and inspiratory pressures (PEmax/PImax), the incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT), and the endurance shuttle walk test (ESWT).
RESULTS: We successfully recruited 23 subjects with established COPD (65.2% male, mean age 65 ± 5.03 y, mean % predicted FEV1 43.9 ± 16, mean FEV1/FVC ratio 0.46 ± 0.13, and median [interquartile range] MRC 4 [3–5]). There was a significant change in MRC from 4 to 3 pre to post intervention (P = .003). There was a statistically significant difference in PEmax P < .008 and PImax P = .044. There were no significant differences observed in the ISWT or ESWT.
CONCLUSIONS: This study design appeared feasible to proceed to a clinical effectiveness trial. The use of the device for 8 weeks showed a significant improvement in PEmax, PImax, and reduced symptomatic dyspnea on the MRC dyspnea score. The results of this study should encourage a randomized controlled trial.


Daynes, E., Greening, N. J., Harvey-Dunstan, T. C., & Singh, S. J. (2018). High-frequency airway oscillating device for respiratory muscle training in subjects with COPD. Respiratory Care, 63(5), 584-590.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 13, 2018
Online Publication Date Apr 26, 2018
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 27, 2019
Journal Respiratory Care
Print ISSN 0020-1324
Electronic ISSN 1943-3654
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 63
Issue 5
Pages 584-590
Public URL
Publisher URL


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