The historical perspective on pursed lip breathing exercises and its role in pulmonary rehabilitation programs

Main Article Content

Weihua Zhang Ashish Mehta


Background: Pursed lip breathing (PLB) is an important aspect of respiratory exercise training utilized by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to alleviate symptoms of dyspnea. This modality became a part of the recommended treatment during pulmonary rehabilitation and was endorsed by ACCP/AACVPR (American College of Chest Physicians/ American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation) in 1997. 1 Theoretically, PLB promotes maximum exhalation by creating back-pressure inside the airways and thereby improving patency. These changes in respiratory mechanics counteract the pathophysiology leading to emphysema and optimize pulmonary function, thus decreasing dyspnea symptoms associated with dynamic hyperinflation. While there is no overwhelming evidence to support the efficacy of PLB, clinicians still encourage their patients to use PLB techniques during their pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Methods: A total of 26 research articles met criteria for inclusion in this review.

The purpose of this review is to better understand the historical perspectives and evidence surrounding the use of PLB.

Discussion: Most evidence suggested that PLB could be an effective self-care management that optimizes pulmonary function. The knowledge gained from this review may be used to explore implementation strategies utilizing pursed lip breathing exercises for developing a home-based pulmonary rehabilitation program in order to optimize pulmonary function and quality of life in COPD patients.

Keywords: PLB, COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary rehabilitation program

Article Details

How to Cite
ZHANG, Weihua; MEHTA, Ashish. The historical perspective on pursed lip breathing exercises and its role in pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 8, aug. 2018. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 14 apr. 2024.
Research Articles


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