Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 1 (1), CD010277

Chest Physiotherapy for Pneumonia in Children

Affiliations

Chest Physiotherapy for Pneumonia in Children

Gabriela Ss Chaves et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.

Abstract

Background: Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes more deaths in children aged under five years than any other single cause. Chest physiotherapy is widely used as adjuvant treatment for pneumonia. Physiotherapy is thought to help remove inflammatory exudates, tracheobronchial secretions, and airway obstructions, and reduce airway resistance to improve breathing and enhance gas exchange. This is an update of a review published in 2013.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of chest physiotherapy with regard to time until clinical resolution in children (from birth to 18 years) of either gender with any type of pneumonia.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2018, Issue 1), which includes the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group Specialised Register, MEDLINE (22 February 2018), Embase (22 February 2018), CINAHL (22 February 2018), LILACS (22 February 2018), Web of Science (22 February 2018), and PEDro (22 February 2018). We also searched clinical trials registers (ClinicalTrials.gov and WHO ICTRP) to identify planned, ongoing, and unpublished trials.

Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared any type of chest physiotherapy with no chest physiotherapy for children with pneumonia.

Data collection and analysis: We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. The primary outcomes of interest were mortality, duration of hospital stay, and time to clinical resolution. We used Review Manager 5 software to analyse data and GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome.

Main results: We included three new RCTs for this update, for a total of six included RCTs involving 559 children aged from 29 days to 12 years with pneumonia who were treated as inpatients. Pneumonia severity was described as moderate in one trial, severe in two trials, and was not stated in three trials. The studies assessed five different interventions: effects of conventional chest physiotherapy (3 studies, 211 children), positive expiratory pressure (1 study, 72 children), continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) (1 study, 94 children), bubble CPAP (bCPAP) (1 study, 225 children), and assisted autogenic drainage (1 studies, 29 children). The included studies were conducted in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, and South Africa. The studies were overall at low risk of bias. Blinding of participants was not possible in most studies, but we considered that the outcomes were unlikely to be influenced by the lack of blinding.All included studies evaluated mortality. However, three studies assessed mortality as an outcome, and only one study of bCPAP reported that deaths occurred. Three deaths occurred in children in the physiotherapy group (N = 79) and 20 deaths in children in the control group (N = 146) (risk ratio (RR) 0.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.08 to 0.90; 559 children; low-quality evidence). It is uncertain whether chest physiotherapy techniques (bCPAP, assisted autogenic drainage, and conventional chest physiotherapy) reduced hospital stay duration (days) (mean difference (MD) 0.10, 95% CI -0.56 to 0.76; 4 studies; low-quality evidence).There was variation among clinical parameters used to define clinical resolution. Two small studies found no difference in resolution of fever between children in the physiotherapy (conventional chest physiotherapy and assisted autogenic drainage) and control groups. Of five studies that considered peripheral oxygen saturation levels, only two reported that use of chest physiotherapy (CPAP and conventional chest physiotherapy) showed a greater improvement in peripheral oxygen saturation levels. However, it was unclear whether respiratory rate (breaths/min) improved after conventional chest physiotherapy (MD -2.25, 95% CI -5.17 to 0.68; 2 studies, 122 children; low-quality evidence). Two studies assessed adverse events (number of events), but only one study reported any events (RR 1.28, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.67; 2 studies, 254 children; low-quality evidence).

Authors' conclusions: We could draw no reliable conclusions concerning the use of chest physiotherapy for children with pneumonia due to the small number of included trials with differing study characteristics and statistical presentation of data. Future studies should consider the following key points: appropriate sample size with adequate power to detect expected differences, standardisation of chest physiotherapy techniques, appropriate outcomes (such as duration of leukocytosis, and airway clearance), and adverse effects.

Conflict of interest statement

Gabriela SS Chaves: None known. Diana A Freitas: None known. Thayla A Santino: None known. Patricia Angelica MS Nogueira: None known. Guilherme AF Fregonezi: None known. Karla MPP Mendonça: None known.

Figures

1
1
Study flow diagram.
2
2
Risk of bias graph: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item presented as percentages across all included studies.
3
3
Risk of bias summary: review authors' judgements about each risk of bias item for each included study.
4
4
Forest plot of comparison: 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, outcome: 1.1 Mortality.
5
5
Forest plot of comparison: 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, outcome: 1.2 Duration of hospital stay.
6
6
Forest plot of comparison: 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, outcome: 1.3 Time to clinical resolution (respiratory rate).
7
7
Forest plot of comparison: 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, outcome: 1.4 Adverse events.
1.1
1.1. Analysis
Comparison 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, Outcome 1 Mortality.
1.2
1.2. Analysis
Comparison 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, Outcome 2 Duration of hospital stay.
1.3
1.3. Analysis
Comparison 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, Outcome 3 Time to clinical resolution (respiratory rate).
1.4
1.4. Analysis
Comparison 1 Chest physiotherapy compared with no chest physiotherapy, Outcome 4 Adverse events.

Update of

  • Chest Physiotherapy for Pneumonia in Children
    GS Chaves et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (9), CD010277. PMID 24057988. - Review
    Our review does not provide conclusive evidence to justify the use of chest physiotherapy in children with pneumonia due to a lack of data. The number of included studies …

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

Feedback