Relaxation Techniques for People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review and a Meta-Analysis

Eleonora Volpato, Paolo Banfi, Sheena Michelle Rogers, Francesco Pagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) people suffer from severe physical impairments, which often elicit significant psychological distress and impact their quality of life. This meta-analysis aimed to assess evidence from the scientific literature on the effects of relaxation techniques. Methods. We investigated 9 databases to select 25 RCTs. Studies included both inpatients and outpatients with COPD. Both respiratory and psychological outcomes were considered. Results. Relaxation techniques showed a little positive effect on the value of the percentage of predicted FEV1 (d=0.20; 95% Cl: 0.40 - 0.01) as well as a slight effect on levels of both the anxiety (d=0.26; 95% Cl: 0.42-0.10) and depression (d=0.33; 95% Cl: 0.53-0.13). The higher effect size was found in the quality of life value (d=0.38; 95% Cl: 0.51-0.24). The assessed quality of the studies, based on the PEDro Scale, was generally medium/high. Conclusion. Relaxation training can have a moderate impact on both psychological well-being and respiratory function, resulting in noticeable improvements in both. Although higher quality research is required, our results sustain the importance of relaxation techniques as a tool to manage COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number628365
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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