Effects of respiratory physiotherapy in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: protocol for a systematic review of randomised controlled trials

BMJ Open. 2022 May 30;12(5):e061624. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061624.


Introduction: Respiratory muscle weakness and ventilatory failure are common complications in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and may lead to death. Respiratory physiotherapy may improve lung function in this population. This study aims to investigate the effects of respiratory physiotherapy on lung function, cough efficacy and functional status of patients with ALS.

Methods and analysis: A protocol was published on the International prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO). The research will cover randomised controlled trials, with no language or publication date restriction, available in the following databases: MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Physiotherapy Evidence Database. The research question will be answered using a search strategy adapted for each database. Searches in databases will be conducted from January 2021 to December 2022. Two authors using the Cochrane risk of bias tool for randomised trials V.2 and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations, respectively, will assess risk of bias and quality of evidence independently. According to the results obtained, data will be reported as a meta-analysis or a narrative report.

Ethics and dissemination: No previous ethical approval is required for this publication since data used are already published. Results of this review will be disclosed via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

Prospero registration number: CRD42021251842.

Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; forced vital capacity; functional capacity; inspiratory muscle weakness; nasal inspiratory pressure; respiratory insufficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis* / complications
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Respiratory Insufficiency* / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency* / therapy
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic