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    ABSTRACT: Bottom line: we wanted to find out if airways clearance techniques are helpful for people with bronchiectasis. From the small amount of data we found, there appeared to be no difference in the number of exacerbations (flare-ups). Airway clearance techniques seem to be safe for individuals. Based on one small study, there may be an improvement in quality of life. Airway clearance techniques also led to more sputum being coughed up from the lungs and some improvement in defined measures of lung function. The other outcomes we were interested in were hospitalisations, symptoms, oxygenation and prescription of antibiotics, but these were not yet reported. Overall, the impact of airway clearance techniques in individuals experiencing a chest infection is unknown. On the basis of this information, current guidelines for treating bronchiectasis recommend the routine assessment for ACTs and prescription as required on a regular basis. What evidence did we find and how good was it? There were five studies on 51 people with bronchiectasis. Only two of these studies lasted for six months, the others were only one treatment session and from these it is difficult to know if any improvement would be maintained in the longer term. The methods used to conduct the trials were not well reported. These factors mean that overall we felt the evidence was of low quality. Three studies were funded by research institutions or governmental organisations and the other two studies did not report who funded them. What is bronchiectasis? People with bronchiectasis frequently report symptoms of cough, excessive sputum production and breathlessness and are at risk of chest infections. What are airway clearance techniques? Physiotherapy treatment in the form of airway clearance techniques are often prescribed to help people cough up sputum in their lungs.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 05/2013; 5(5):CD008351. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD008351.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor