Inspiratory muscle training for recovered COVID-19 patients after weaning from mechanical ventilation: A pilot control clinical study

Medicine (Baltimore). 2021 Apr 2;100(13):e25339. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000025339.


Background: To the best of our knowledge, no studies have evaluated the effects of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on recovered COVID-19 patients after weaning from mechanical ventilation. Therefore, this study assessed the efficacy of IMT on recovered COVID-19 patients following mechanical ventilation.

Methods: Forty-two recovered COVID-19 patients (33 men and 9 women) weaned from mechanical ventilation with a mean age of 48.05 ± 8.85 years were enrolled in this pilot control clinical study. Twenty-one patients were equipped to 2-week IMT (IMT group) and 21 matched peers were recruited as a control (control group). Forced vital capacity (FVC%), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1%), dyspnea severity index (DSI), quality of life (QOL), and six-minute walk test (6-MWT) were assessed initially before starting the study intervention and immediately after intervention.

Results: Significant interaction effects were observed in the IMT when compared to control group, FVC% (F = 5.31, P = .041, ηP2 = 0.13), FEV1% (F = 4.91, P = .043, ηP2 = 0.12), DSI (F = 4.56, P = .032, ηP2 = 0.15), QOL (F = 6.14, P = .021, ηP2 = 0.17), and 6-MWT (F = 9.34, P = .028, ηP2 = 0.16). Within-group analysis showed a significant improvement in the IMT group (FVC%, P = .047, FEV1%, P = .039, DSI, P = .001, QOL, P < .001, and 6-MWT, P < .001), whereas the control group displayed nonsignificant changes (P > .05).

Conclusions: A 2-week IMT improves pulmonary functions, dyspnea, functional performance, and QOL in recovered intensive care unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients after consecutive weaning from mechanical ventilation. IMT program should be encouraged in the COVID-19 management protocol, specifically with ICU patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breathing Exercises / methods*
  • COVID-19 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods*