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Breathing and Relaxation Exercises for Asthma: a Randomised Controlled Trial

This study has been completed.
Welwyn Hatfield Primary Care Trust
University College, London
Information provided by:
University College London Hospitals Identifier:
First received: November 15, 2006
Last updated: May 27, 2015
Last verified: November 2006

All patients on the GP asthma database in one practice were invited for an asthma physical-therapy assessment, at baseline. Volunteers satisfying the inclusion criteria ie - aged between 16 and 70, able to understand, read and write English, give informed consent, willing to attend the surgery to take part in the trial and with no other serious conditions - were invited to participate in the study. Patients were randomised either to a control group, receiving 2 more assessments at 6 and 12 months, or for comparison to a group receiving 5 physical-therapy treatments of integrated breathing and relaxation exercises (known as the Papworth Method (PM)). The two groups would then be compared at 6 and 12 months.


  1. The PM of breathing and relaxation training would improve the quality of life for adult patients with asthma in primary care, compared with patients only receiving usual medical care.
  2. Anxiety and depression, and symptoms from dysfunctional breathing would reduce compared with the control group.
  3. Respiratory function measurements would improve compared with the control group.

Condition Intervention
Asthma Procedure: Breathing and relaxation exercises: the Papworth Method

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Physical Therapy Treatment for Adults Diagnosed With Asthma in Primary Care: a Randomised Controlled Trial

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University College London Hospitals:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Health related Quality of Life as measured by the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Anxiety and Depression as measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
  • Symptoms from dysfunctional breathing measured by the Nijmegen Questionnaire.
  • Respiratory measurements as measured by spirometry and capnography.

Estimated Enrollment: 56
Study Start Date: October 2004
Estimated Study Completion Date: January 2006

Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years to 70 Years   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • doctor diagnosed asthma, volunteers from the practice asthma database
  • 16-70 years of age
  • able to understand, speak and write English
  • willing to give informed consent
  • willing and able to attend the surgery for assessments and treatments

Exclusion Criteria:

  • serious co-morbid conditions
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00400270

United Kingdom
Bridge Cottage Surgery
Welwyn, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, AL6 9EF
Sponsors and Collaborators
University College London Hospitals
Welwyn Hatfield Primary Care Trust
University College, London
Study Director: Professor Robert West, PhD Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London
  More Information Identifier: NCT00400270     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: EC03660
Study First Received: November 15, 2006
Last Updated: May 27, 2015

Keywords provided by University College London Hospitals:
Randomised controlled trial
Breathing exercises
Relaxation exercises
Primary care

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Bronchial Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Hypersensitivity
Hypersensitivity, Immediate
Immune System Diseases processed this record on September 19, 2017