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Vol. 22. Num. 3.
Pages 175-254 (01 May 2018)
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Vol. 22. Num. 3.
Pages 175-254 (01 May 2018)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.12.003
The effects of inspiratory muscle training based on the perceptions of patients with advanced lung disease: a qualitative study
Mariana Hoffmana, Marcella G. Assisb, Valéria Maria Augustoc, Bruna Mara F. Silveiraa, Verônica F. Parreirad,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Avenida Antônio Carlos, 6627, Bairro Pampulha, CEP: 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
a Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Rehabilitation Sciences Post Graduation Program, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
b Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Department of Occupational Therapy, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
c Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Department of Internal Medicine, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
d Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Department of Physical Therapy, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

  • Advanced lung disease is a chronic disease that compromises daily living activities.

  • Few treatments exist to improve quality of life in advanced lung disease patients.

  • Inspiratory muscle training is part of advanced lung disease rehabilitation.

  • Inspiratory muscle training reduces breathlessness in advanced lung disease patients.

  • Inspiratory muscle training improves daily activities, mobility and communication.

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Table 1. The socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the study's 10 subjects.

Advanced lung disease is a chronic non-neoplastic disease that compromises activities of daily living. Treatment includes pulmonary rehabilitation and inspiratory muscle training. Studies have shown the effectiveness of inspiratory muscle training in lung disease patients, but literature is scarce on the patients’ perceptions about this topic.


To explore the perceptions of patients with advanced lung disease about inspiratory muscle training.


Qualitative study. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire regarding topics on the participation of patients in inspiratory muscle training and on daily activities performed before and after training. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to thematic content analysis.


Ten patients (eight women and 2 men, ranging in age from 27 to 89 years) with inspiratory muscle weakness (maximal inspiratory pressure=44±13.9cmH2O) were included. Five patients were diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, two with bronchiectasis and three with pulmonary fibrosis. All patients completed at least 80% of the total training sessions. The reports were grouped into four thematic categories: (1) impact of inspiratory muscle training on breathlessness (e.g., “I wasn’t feeling as tired as I previously felt.”); (2) change in daily activities (e.g., “I needed to go to the supermarket, I felt less tired doing it.”); (3) improved mobility (e.g., “I could not stand for long periods […] walking, for example […] Now I stand more, I have more capability.”); and (4) increased communication (e.g., “More power, right? Even in speaking […] When I could, I felt my voice coming out better.”).


There were improvements in breathlessness, daily activities, mobility, and communication, which positively affected the psychological and social aspects of the patients.

Respiratory muscle training
Physical therapy
Lung diseases
Qualitative research


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