The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing versus Pursed-Lips Breathing on Pulmonary Functions among Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • Eshrak Mohamed
  • Laila Abdou
  • Aida El Gamil
  • Ahmed Shaaban
Keywords: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pulmonary rehabilitation, Diaphragmatic and pursed-lips breathing, Pulmonary function parameters


Pulmonary rehabilitation plays a key role in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. It offers supervised exercise and education for those with breathing problems. The nurse plays a key role in identifying potential candidates for pulmonary rehabilitation, and in facilitating and reinforcing the material learned in rehabilitation program. Objectives: 1-Assess the effect of diaphragmatic breathing on pulmonary functions of COPD patients. 2-Assess the effect of pursed-lips breathing on pulmonary functions of COPD patients. 3-Compare between the effect of diaphragmatic breathing and pursed-lips breathing on pulmonary functions of COPD patients. Setting: The study was carried out at Inpatient Medical Chest Disease Unit at Alexandria Main University Hospital. Subjects: a convenient sample of 60 adult patients of both sexes diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, free from co-morbid diseases that affect the result. The sample was divided randomly into two equal groups, 30 patients each. Group (I) received diaphragmatic breathing training, Group (II) received pursed-lips breathing. Tools: Two tools were used in this study. Tool I an interview questionnaire to illicit socio- demographic data, tool II the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patient pulmonary functions tests assessment tool. Validity and reliability of the tool were estimated. Results: The study findings revealed that pulmonary function parameters showed only significant changes in tidal volume and expiratory reserve volume after exercise training in both groups. There were significant differences in PaO2, PCO2, SPO2 results among both studied subjects. Conclusion: Diaphragmatic breathing and Pursed lips breathing have almost equal effect on improving pulmonary functions of COPD patients. Recommendation: Patient education regarding pulmonary rehabilitation should be part of the in-service nursing health education programs.