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Scientific Research
Clinical Trials: Report

Health Education in Asthma Management
- Does the Buteyko Institute Method Make a Difference?
J. McGowan, Education and Training Consultant, Acorn Nursing Agency, Glasgow
Thorax Vol 58, suppl III, page 28, December 2003.


Background: Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Buteyko Institute Method of Breathing Retraining can reduce asthma symptoms, medication and improve quality of life. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of this method for individuals being treated for asthma.
Methods: 600 adult patients aged 18-69 years diagnosed and currently treated asthma with a symptom score > 1 per day was recruited to a randomized blinded controlled trial. This tested active Buteyko (Group 1) with asthma nurse education (Group 2) and continued medication control (Group 3). The main outcome measures were quality of life (SF36), activity, asthma symptoms, and medication reduction. Asthma symptoms and activity were measured by diary card scoring from 0-3.
Results: of all who commenced study, data were available on 500 after 6 months, 384 after 12 months, and 384 after 24 months.
Asthma Symptoms: Buteyko Group - decreased by 98%, 6 months and remained same at 12 months - Placebo and Control Groups - no significant change
Reliever Medication: Buteyko Group - decreased by 98%, 6 months, and remained same at 12 months - Placebo and Control Groups - no significant change
Preventer Medication: Buteyko Group - decreased by 92%, 6 months and remained same 12 months - Placebo and Control Groups - no significant change
Reliever Oral Preparations: Buteyko Group - decreased by 100%, 6 months and remained same at 12 months - Placebo and Control Groups - no significant change
Preventer Oral Preparations: Buteyko Group - decreased by 96%, 6 months and remained same at 12 months - Placebo and Control Groups - no significant change
Instance of cold or viral infection: Buteyko Group - decreased by 20%, 6 months and remained same at 12 months - Placebo and Control Groups - no significant change
The participants involved in this study all experienced significant improvement in asthma with a reduction in symptom, medication and improvement in quality of life. This was maintained over the duration of the study and is similar to the results of Brisbane Study (Bowler S 1998 BMU) and unpublished study by Dr G Spence G.P. in Shettleston Health Centre (Spence. G.).


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