Clinical Trials Investigating the Buteyko Method in asthma
There are currently sixteen clinical trials investigating the Buteyko Method as an adjunct for asthma, including four studies in collaboration with Asthma Care Ireland practitioner Patrick McKeown.
Trials investigating the Buteyko Method showed positive results including improved asthma control, improvements to lung function and reduced need for asthma medication.
Comments from the papers include:
“If a drug could show these results, then it is likely that it would be used widely in asthma control” (Hassan et al, 2012)
“This study demonstrated that the BBT (Buteyko Breathing Technique) can effectively improve the total serum IgE, the ventilatory function in terms of FVC, FEV1, PEF, FEF25–75% and FEV1/FVC, and C-ACT scores in children with bronchial asthma.” (Elnaggara, 2016)
“In conclusion, we found that those practising the Buteyko breathing technique (BBT) reduced hyperventilation and their use of beta2-agonists. A trend toward reduced inhaled steroid use and better quality of life was observed in these patients without changes in objective measures of airway calibre.” (Bowler et al, 1998)
Role of Buteyko Breathing Technique in asthmatics with nasal symptoms
In collaboration with the University of Limerick, Patrick McKeown was the instructor in a clinical study investigating the Buteyko Method as a treatment for rhinitis in asthma. Results showed a 70% reduction of nasal symptoms in participants, including snoring, loss of smell, nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose.
Adelola OA. et al. 2013, Role of Buteyko Breathing Technique in asthmatics with nasal symptoms, Clinical Otolaryngology April; 38(2):190-191.
Buteyko Breathing Technique Reduces Hyperventilation Induced Hypocapnoea and Dyspnoea after Exercise in Asthma
“Our study demonstrated the hypothesised physiology of BBT, improving hyperventilation induced hypocapnoea and breathlessness, following maximal exercise. By teaching patients to reduce hypernoea of breathing (the rate &depth), BBT may reduce asthma symptoms and improve exercise tolerance and control.”
Austin G. et al. 2009. Buteyko Breathing Technique Reduces Hyperventilation Induced Hypocapnoea and Dyspnoea after Exercise in Asthma, Pulmonary Rehabilitation B58 A3409.
Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomized controlled trial.
At 3 months; Buteyko Group achieved:
- Reliever medication decreased by 90%
- Inhaled Corticosteroids decreased by 49%
Bowler SD. et al. (1998) Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomized controlled trial. MJA, Dec 7-21; 169 (11-12).
To compare the efficacy of pursed lip breathing and Buteyko breathing technique to reduce the symptoms of exercise induced asthma in obese children
The subjects were treated with pursed lip breathing and Buteyko breathing technique along with relaxation technique and chest mobility exercise using bilateral upper limb patterns of PNF for duration on 1 week. Both the group were found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of EIA. We found clinical significance in both the groups But clinically subjects with Buteyko breathing technique showed more improvement than subjects with pursed lip breathing technique.
Chavda MV and Shah HM. (2016) To compare the efficacy of pursed lip breathing and Buteyko breathing technique to reduce the symptoms of exercise induced asthma in obese children, International Journal of Current Research, Vol. 8, Issue 07, pp. 35058-35064.
Effect of Two Breathing Exercises (Buteyko and Pranayama) in asthma: A Randomised Controlled Trial
The Buteyko breathing technique can improve symptoms and reduce bronchodilator use but does not appear to change bronchial responsiveness or lung function in patients with asthma.
Cooper S. et al (2003) Effect of Two Breathing Exercises (Buteyko and Pranayama) in asthma: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Thorax, Vol. 58, No. 8, pp. 649-659.
A randomized controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma
Six months after completion of the interventions, a large majority of subjects in each group displayed control of their asthma with the additional benefit of reduction in inhaled corticosteroid use in the Buteyko group. The Buteyko technique, an established and widely recognised intervention, or an intensive programme delivered by a chest physiotherapist appear to provide additional benefit for adult patients with asthma who are being treated with inhaled corticosteroid.
Cowie RL et al. 2008 A randomized controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma, Respiratory Medicine; May; 102(5):726-32.
Efficacy of non-invasive respiratory techniques in the treatment of children with bronchial asthma: a randomized controlled trial
Significant difference in total serum IgE in favor of the BBT group was recorded when compared with ACBT group (P=0.046) and the TLPT group (P=0.036). Moreover, significant differences in ventilatory function measures favoring the BBT group in comparison with the ACBT group and the BBT group
Elnaggara RK and Shendy MA (2016) Efficacy of non-invasive respiratory techniques in the treatment of children with bronchial asthma: a randomized controlled trial, Bulletin of Faculty of Physical Therapy, 21:1–10
Effect of Buteyko breathing technique on patients with bronchial asthma
The results of this study support the good effect of BBT on patients with bronchial asthma. It significantly decrease the recurrence and the severity of the main bronchial asthma symptoms(nocturnal waking, morning symptoms activity limitation, shortness of breath, wheezing, PEFR% predicted, and Inhaled Corticosteroids). And it significantly increase PEFR. BBT will improve patient’s function level and the capacity for independent living by decreasing the severity of asthma symptoms and recurrence of asthma attacks.
Hassan ZM. et al. (2012) Effect of Buteyko breathing technique on patients with bronchial asthma, Egyptian Journal of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis, 61, 235–241.
Effectiveness of Buteyko breathing technique on respiratory physiological parameters among patients with bronchial asthma
Buteyko Breathing Technique was found to be significantly effective in improving the respiratory physiological parameters among patients with bronchial asthma.
Huidrom K. et al, 2016, Effectiveness of Buteyko breathing technique on respiratory physiological parameters among patients with bronchial asthma, International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, Vol. 7, Issue 5, pp. 11328-11331
Effectiveness of Buteyko Method in Asthma Control and Quality of Life of School-age Children
The use of the Buteyko Method as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma showed significant improvement in asthma control among school age children with bronchial asthma. This statement is supported by the results of the study which showed a decrease in frequency of asthma related symptoms, activity limitation as well as bronchodilator use and an improvement in emotional function after 3-4 weeks of Buteyko Method administration.
Lina, RC. et al. (2014) Effectiveness of Buteyko Method in Asthma Control and Quality of Life of School-age Children, academia.edu
Buteyko Breathing Technique for Asthma: An Effective Intervention
At 6 months; Buteyko Group achieved:
- Reliever medication decreased by 85%
- Inhaled Corticosteroids decreased by 50%
BBT is a safe and efficacious asthma management technique. BBT has clinical and potential pharmaco-economic benefits that merit further study.
McHugh P. et al (2003) Buteyko Breathing Technique for Asthma: An Effective Intervention. Vol. 116, No. 1187 New Zealand Medical Journal
Buteyko breathing technique and asthma in children: a case series
At 3 months; Buteyko Group achieved:
- Reliever medication decreased by 66%
- Inhaled Corticosteroids decreased by 41%
McHugh P et al (2006) Buteyko breathing technique and asthma in children: a case series, New Zealand Journal of Medicine, Vol. 119. No. 1234.
Buteyko Breathing technique versus incentive spirometry on breath holding time after coronary artery bypass graft
It is recommended to add a Buteyko breathing technique to the rehabilitation program for patients underwent CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS GRAFT (CABG) surgery. More researches are needed to study the effect of BBT on CABG at home and to show its effect on other heart surgeries.
Mohamed EHA et al (2016) Buteyko Breathing technique versus incentive spirometry on breath holding time after coronary artery bypass graft, International Journal of Current Research, Vol. 8. Issue 3, pp. 28628-28633
A clinical trial of the Buteyko Breathing Technique in asthma as taught by a video
Our results demonstrated a significant improvement in quality of life among those assigned to the BBT compared with placebo (p= 0.043), as well as a significant reduction in inhaled bronchodila- tor intake (p = 0.008).
Opat AJ et al. (2000) A clinical trial of the Buteyko Breathing Technique in asthma as taught by a video Journal Asthma, 37(7):557-64.
Effect of Buteyko breathing exercise in newly diagnosed asthmatic patients
Among the 100 participants. It was observed that there was an overall subjective improvement of
asthma symptoms among the interventional group (Buteyko) at the end of 2 months (which
was statistically significant) when compared to the control group. Also, there was
an improvement in the pulmonary function in terms of peak expiratory flow rate in
both the groups.
Prasanna KB. et al 2015 Effect of Buteyko breathing exercise in newly diagnosed asthmatic patients. International Journal of Medicine and Public Health; Jan-Mar, Vol 5, Issue 1.
Comparison of the Effects of Buteyko and Pranayama Breathing Techniques on Quality of Life in Patients with Asthma
The Buteyko group showed better trends of improvement in quality of life and asthma control than the group performing the pranayama breathing exercise.
Prem V. et al (2013) Comparison of the Effects of Buteyko and Pranayama Breathing Techniques on Quality of Life in Patients with Asthma- A Randomised Controlled Trial. Clinical Rehabilitation Vol. 27, No.2, pp.133-141.
A Study of effects of Buteyko Breathing Technique on Asthmatic Patients
Group – Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) group-A showed significant improvement in the FEV1 and PEFR, and a significant decrease in the levels of dyspnea, where PLBE with DE Group – B showed no significant changes in any of the three measurements.
Buteyko Breathing Technique has given a logical treatment for reversing hyperventilation disorders which is responsible for recurrent asthmatic attack, So it can be concluded that Buteyko Breathing exercise when done regularly and properly can stop or reverse the decline in the lung function and reduce dyspnea in asthmatic patients.
Ravinder N. et al. 2012, A Study of effects of Buteyko Breathing Technique on Asthmatic Patients. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy – An International Journal 6(2), 224 228.
Double Blind Randomised Controlled Trial of Two Different Breathing Techniques in the Management of Asthma
Overall there were no clinically important differences between the groups in primary or secondary
outcomes at weeks 12 or 28. The QoL score remained unchanged (0.7 at baseline v 0.5 at week 28,
p = 0.11 both groups combined), as did lung function and airway responsiveness. However, across both
groups, reliever use decreased by 86% (p,0.0001) and ICS dose was reduced by 50% (p,0.0001;
p.0.10 between groups).
Slader CA. et al (2006) Double Blind Randomised Controlled Trial of Two Different Breathing Techniques in the Management of Asthma. Thorax Vol. 61, pp. 651-656.
Breathing exercises for asthma
There is now a compelling body of evidence showing that instruction in fairly simple breathing exercises provided by a trained therapist can improve patients’ experience of their disease and reduce their reliance on rescue medication.
Thomas M and Bruton A (2014) Breathing exercises for asthma, Breathe, December 1, Vol. 10, No.4 pp 312-322.
Effect of Buteyko Method on Asthma Control and Quality of Life of Filipino Adults with Bronchial Asthma
The Buteyko group showed a significant improvement in asthma control scores (p=0.029) and quality of life scores (p=0.006) after the 4 week period. The control group, however, showed no significant differences in asthma control scores (p=0.289) nor in their quality of life scores (p=0.390). Conclusion: The Buteyko Method has a significant positive effect on asthma control and quality of life when used as adjunct treatment in adults with bronchial asthma.
Villareal, M C et al. (2014) Effect of Buteyko Method on Asthma Control and Quality of Life of Filipino Adults with Bronchial Asthma, Journal of Macro Trends in Health and Medicine, Vol 2, Issue 1.
Systematic review of the effectiveness of breathing retraining in asthma management
Individual studies using BBT consistently demonstrated a reduction in asthma medication use, and together with respiratory physiotherapy studies, often showed an improvement in AQOL and the subjective experience of asthma symptoms. However, there was no significant improvement in lung function in any of the BBT studies to account for the positive results.
Burges J et al. (2011) Systematic review of the effectiveness of breathing retraining in asthma management, Expert Rev. Respir. Med. 5(6), 789–807.
Asthma Care Ireland would like to thank Dr Alan Ruth for collecting the research presented above.