Objectives The use of chest physiotherapy (CP) has not, to date, been shown to be effective in the care of infants hospitalized for bronchiolitis. However, it has not yet been studied in outpatient settings. The aim of our study was to examine the short-term benefit of CP with the increased exhalation technique (IET) on the respiratory conditions of non-hospitalized infants.
Methods Our research consisted of a multicenter, randomized, controlled, single blind study of infants under 1 year old. A decrease in the severity score of the infants’ respiratory condition was compared between two groups: one receiving CP and one without CP. Eighty-two infants were randomized: 41 in the CP group and 41 in the, control group. Blinded assessors determined the Wang Clinical Severity Score at inclusion (T0) and 30 minutes later (T1) for each group.
Results Improvement in the severity score was observed for 29 infants (70.7%) in the group receiving CP, compared with 4 infants (9.76%) in the control group (p<0.001). The mean decrease in the Wang Clinical Severity Score was 2 (1.32) in the group receiving physiotherapy compared with 0.22 (0.99) in the control group (p<0.001).
Conclusion For outpatient care of infants with bronchiolitis, the results of this study suggest that CP with IET leads to a short-term improvement of mucus airway obstruction parameters.
Received September 27, 2020
accepted after revision April 16, 2021
© 2021. The Author(s).