Buteyko Breathing Techniques for Asthma: an effective intervention


Patrick McHugh, Fergus Aitcheson, Bruce Duncan, Frank Houghton
Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 12 December 2003, vol 116 No 1187


The study aimed to assess the impact of the Buteyko Breathing Technique (BBT) on medication use in asthma.


A blinded  and randomised controlled trial comparing BBT with control was conducted in 38 people with asthma aged between 18 and 70. Participants were followed for 6 months following the intervention. Medication use and indices of ventilatory function were recorded.


No significant change in FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) was recorded in either group. The BBT group exhibited a reduction in inhaled steroid use of 50% and ß2-agonist use of 85% at 6 months from baseline. In the control group, inhaled steroid use was unchanged and ß2-agonist use was reduced by 37% from baseline. Investigator contact between the 2 groups was equal. There were no adverse events recorded in either group.


BBT is a safe and efficacious asthma management technique. BBT has clinical and potential pharmaco-economic benefits that merit further study.



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