Effectiveness of controlled breathing techniques on anxiety and depression in hospitalized patients with COPD: a randomized clinical Trial

Respir Care. 2014 Feb;59(2):209-15. doi: 10.4187/respcare.02565. Epub 2013 Jul 23.


Background: Anxiety and depression are prevalent comorbidities in patients with COPD. Breathing techniques can improve anxiety and depression in patients hospitalized for COPD exacerbation.

Methods: We conducted a randomized clinical study with 46 male subjects, 67-86 years old, hospitalized with acute COPD exacerbation. Subjects were randomly and equally divided into a control group and a controlled breathing intervention group. We measured baseline and post-intervention dyspnea, anxiety and depression, quality of life (with the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire and the European Quality of Life questionnaire), maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressure, hand-grip strength, and sleep quality. The cohort had high dyspnea and low overall quality of life.

Results: Controlled breathing techniques significantly improved dyspnea, anxiety, and mobility. All the measured variables improved in the intervention group. The control group had poorer values in all the variables after the hospitalization period.

Conclusions: Controlled breathing exercises improve anxiety and depression in patients hospitalized for COPD exacerbation. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01826682).

Keywords: anxiety; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; controlled breathing; depression; hospitalization.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Breathing Exercises / methods*
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01826682