Low Intensity Respiratory Muscle Training in COVID-19 Patients after Invasive Mechanical Ventilation: A Retrospective Case-Series Study.
Author: Villelabeitia Jaureguizar, Koldobika; Calvo Lobo, César; Rodríguez-Sanz, David; Vicente Campos, Davinia; Castro-Portal, José Adrián; López Cañadas, Marta; Becerro-de-Bengoa-Vallejo, Ricardo; López Chicharro, José
Abstract: Worldwide, healthcare systems had to respond to an exponential increase in COVID-19 patients with a noteworthy increment in intensive care units (ICU) admissions and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). The aim was to determine low intensity respiratory muscle training (RMT) effects in COVID-19 patients upon medical discharge and after an ICU stay with IMV. A retrospective case-series study was performed. Forty COVID-19 patients were enrolled and divided into twenty participants who received IMV during ICU stay (IMV group) and 20 participants who did not receive IMV nor an ICU stay (non-IMV group). Maximal expiratory pressure (PEmax), maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax), COPD assessment test (CAT) and Medical Research Council (MRC) dyspnea scale were collected at baseline and after 12 weeks of low intensity RMT. A greater MRC dyspnea score and lower PImax were shown at baseline in the IMV group versus the non-IMV group (p < 0.01). RMT effects on the total sample improved all outcome measurements (p < 0.05; d = 0.38–0.98). Intragroup comparisons after RMT improved PImax, CAT and MRC scores in the IMV group (p = 0.001; d = 0.94–1.09), but not for PImax in the non-IMV group (p > 0.05). Between-groups comparison after RMT only showed MRC dyspnea improvements (p = 0.020; d = 0.74) in the IMV group versus non-IMV group. Furthermore, PImax decrease was only predicted by the IMV presence (R2 = 0.378). Low intensity RMT may improve respiratory muscle strength, health related quality of life and dyspnea in COVID-19 patients. Especially, low intensity RMT could improve dyspnea level and maybe PImax in COVID-19 patients who received IMV in ICU.
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