Comparison of the effects of Buteyko and pranayama breathing techniques on quality of life in patients with asthma - a randomized controlled trial

Clin Rehabil. 2013 Feb;27(2):133-41. doi: 10.1177/0269215512450521. Epub 2012 Jul 26.


Objective: To compare two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) with a control group in patients with asthma.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Subjects: One hundred and twenty subjects were randomized to three groups through block randomization. Subjects with an Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire score <5.5 participated in the study.

Setting: Outpatient pulmonary medicine department.

Interventions: Subjects in the Buteyko and pranayama groups were trained for 3-5 days and instructed to practise the exercises for 15 minutes twice daily, and for three months duration. The control group underwent routine pharmacological management during the study period.

Outcome measures: Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, Asthma Control Questionnaire and pulmonary function test.

Results: The baseline characteristics were similar in all three groups. Post intervention, the Buteyko group showed better trends of improvement (mean (95% confidence interval), P-value) in total Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire score than the pranayama (0.47 (-0.008-0.95), P = 0.056) and control groups (0.97 (0.48-1.46), P = 0.0001). In comparison between the pranayama and control groups, pranayama showed significant improvement (0.50 (0.01-0.98), P = 0.042) in total Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire score.

Conclusion: The Buteyko group showed better trends of improvement in quality of life and asthma control than the group performing the pranayama breathing exercise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vital Capacity
  • Young Adult


  • Bronchodilator Agents