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Respiratory muscle training in children and adults with neuromuscular disease

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 07:01 authored by Silva, IS, Pedrosa, R, Azevedo, IG, Anne-Marie ForbesAnne-Marie Forbes, Fregonezi, GAF, Dourado Jr, MET, Lima, SRH, Ferreira, GMH
Background Neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) are a heterogeneous group of diseases affecting the anterior horn cell of spinal cord, neuromuscular junction, peripheral nerves and muscles. NMDs cause physical disability usually due to progressive loss of strength in limb muscles, and some NMDs also cause respiratory muscle weakness. Respiratory muscle training (RMT) might be expected to improve respiratory muscle weakness; however, the effects of RMT are still uncertain. This systematic review will synthesize the available trial evidence on the effectiveness and safety of RMT in people with NMD, to inform clinical practice. Objectives To assess the effects of respiratory muscle training (RMT) for neuromuscular disease (NMD) in adults and children, in comparison to sham training, no training, standard treatment, breathing exercises, or other intensities or types of RMT. Search methods On 19 November 2018, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialized Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, and Embase. On 23 December 2018, we searched the US National Institutes for Health Clinical Trials Registry (, the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and reference lists of the included studies. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs, including cross-over trials, of RMT in adults and children with a diagnosis of NMD of any degree of severity, who were living in the community, and who did not need mechanical ventilation. We compared trials of RMT (inspiratory muscle training (IMT) or expiratory muscle training (EMT), or both), with sham training, no training, standard treatment, different intensities of RMT, different types of RMT, or breathing exercises.


Publication title

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews








School of Creative Arts and Media


John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 The Cochrane Collaboration

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified; Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services); Disability and functional capacity

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