Evaluation of breathing pattern: comparison of a Manual Assessment of Respiratory Motion (MARM) and respiratory induction plethysmography

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2008 Jun;33(2):91-100. doi: 10.1007/s10484-008-9052-3. Epub 2008 Mar 5.


Altered breathing pattern is an aspect of dysfunctional breathing but few standardised techniques exist to evaluate it. This study investigates a technique for evaluating and quantifying breathing pattern, called the Manual Assessment of Respiratory Motion (MARM) and compares it to measures performed with Respiratory Induction Plethysmography (RIP). About 12 subjects altered their breathing and posture while 2 examiners assessed their breathing using the MARM. Simultaneous measurements with RIP were taken. Inter-examiner agreement and agreement between MARM and RIP were assessed. The ability of the measurement methods to differentiate between diverse breathing and postural patterns was compared. High levels of agreement between examiners were found with the MARM for measures of the upper rib cage relative to lower rib cage/abdomen motion during breathing but not for measures of volume. The measures of upper rib cage dominance during breathing correlated with similar measures obtained from RIP. Both RIP and MARM measures methods were able to differentiate between abdominal and thoracic breathing patterns, but only MARM was able to differentiate between breathing changes occurring as result of slumped versus erect sitting posture. This study suggests that the MARM is a reliable clinical tool for assessing breathing pattern.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / physiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Plethysmography / instrumentation*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Thorax / physiology