Breathing pattern retraining, in the form of pursed-lip breathing, has been used as one method in pulmonary rehabilitation to help alleviate the symptoms of dyspnea endured by people who suffer from airflow obstruction secondary to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other techniques such as biofeedback also have been successfully used. This article describes the altered breathing patterns used by patients with COPD at rest and during physical activity. The literature is reviewed regarding techniques of breathing pattern retraining that have been developed to improve the capacity of persons with COPD to perform activities of daily living, a primarily rehabilitative outcome.

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