Clinical management practices adopted by physiotherapists in India for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A national survey

Aripta Jingar, Gopala Krishna Alaparthi, K. Vaishali, Shyam Krishnan, Zulfeequer, B. Unnikrishnan

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: Evidence supports the use of pulmonary rehabilitation in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients both during acute exacerbation and at later stages. It is used in India; but, to date, there has been no study that has investigated the structure of pulmonary rehabilitation programs for COPD patients in India. The recent study aims to determine the current practice patterns of Indian Physiotherapists for COPD patients admitted in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and wards in terms of assessment and treatment. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire-based survey was conducted across India. Questionnaires were distributed to around 800 physiotherapists via E-mail. Physiotherapists with a Master Degree and a specialization in cardiopulmonary science or a minimum of 1 year of experience in treating cardiopulmonary patients were included. The questionnaires addressed assessment measures and treatment techniques given to COPD patients. Results: A total of 342 completed questionnaires were received, yielding a response rate of 43.8%, with a majority of responses from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The assessment and treatment techniques used were almost similar between ICUs and wards. More than 80% of the responders carried out the assessment of certain respiratory impairments in both ICUs and wards. An objective measure of dyspnea was taken by less than 40% of the responders, with little attention given to functional exercise capacity and health-related quality of life. Eighty-five percent of the responders used Dyspnea-relieving strategies and traditional airway clearance techniques in both ICUs and wards. Eighty-three percent of the responders were giving patients in the wards training for upper and lower extremity. Fifty percent were giving strength training in the wards. Conclusion: Whether patients are admitted in ICUs or Wards, the practice pattern adopted by Physiotherapists to treat them vary very little with respect to certain measures taken. Assessment predominantly focused on respiratory impairment measures, followed by dyspnea-quantifying measures, with little attention given to functional exercise capacity and health-related quality of life measures. Treatment techniques given were concentrated on dyspnea-relieving strategies, airway clearance techniques and upper and lower extremity exercises, with little attention given to strength training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalLung India
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 04-2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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