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Breathing Assessment and Treatment in Post-CVA and Neurological Patients: A Clinical Approach

Janice Webber, BScPT, Integrated Physiotherapy
223-904 Berkley Road, NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. Canada V7H 1Y2
Lorie Pierce, BA, BCIA, RMT
Suite 801-750 West Broadway, VANCOUVER, B.C. Canada V5Z 1H7

Physiotherapy directed at the restoration of function in post-CVA and neurological patients typically concentrates on the improvement of skeletal movement to assist patients with their activities of daily living. Often absent is the clinical assessment and treatment of breathing dysfunction as a separate entity or as it contributes to excessive effort during movement training (i.e., breath holding).

This poster describes a one year study of the effect of incorporating biofeedback including breathing therapy into the standard physiotherapy protocol of 5 post-CVA patients and 3 patients with other neurological diseases. Pre and post psychophysiological measures of breathing note where gains were possible. Patient results span a continuum from sucessfully integrating breathing retraining into everyday life and activities to not learning the basic rudiments of breathing retraining in therapy. Implications for therapy are discussed.

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