Purpose : The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of respiratory muscle training on respiratory function, respiratory muscle strength, and cough capacity in stroke patients.
Methods : This study used a nonequivalent control group pre-post test design. We recruited thirty-four stroke patients (16male, 18female), who were assigned to intervention(n=17), or control(n=17) groups. Both groups participated in a conventional stroke rehabilitation program, with the intervention groups also receiving respiratory muscle training 20 minutes a day, three times a week, for 4 weeks. Respiratory function (Forced Vital Capacity) and respiratory muscle strength(Maximal Inspiratory Pressure, Maximal Expiratory Pressure) were assessed by spirometry(Pony Fx, Cosmed Srl, Italy). Cough capacity(Peak Expiratory Flow) was assessed using a peak flow meter(MPE 7200, Carefusion, UK). The collected data were analyzed by independent and paired t-tests.
Results : The intervention group showed a significant increase in the forced vital capacity(FVC), maximal inspiratory pressure(MIP), maximal expiratory pressure(MEP) and peak expiratory flow(PEF) at the end of the program, while the control group showed no significant changes.
Conclusion : This study showed that respiratory muscle training increased respiratory function, respiratory muscle strength, and cough capacity in stroke patients and prevented a decrease in cough capacity. These findings suggest that respiratory muscle training effect on respiratory function, respiratory muscle strength and cough capacity for rehabilitation in patients with stroke.