New practices in treating patients with Breathing Pattern Disorders

Published: 20 Apr 2016

Author: Carolyn Bell
New practices in treating patients with Breathing Pattern Disorders

Carolyn Bell is a Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist working within Respiratory Medicine in NHS Lanarkshire. She has recently returned from a four week trip to New Zealand, where she met and observed specialists treating patients with Breathing Pattern Disorders.

Carolyn’s travels were funded by a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship award.

One in ten people in the UK experience symptoms of Dysfunctional Breathing. However, this condition is often not recognised by patients or practitioners, and this can lead to a delay in diagnosis and many years of unwarranted investigations.

Carolyn spent time in the Breathing Works Clinic in Auckland observing some of the world experts in treating Breathing Pattern Disorders. She observed a range of patients, from schoolchildren, to retired individuals, to elite athletes. Patients received a thorough assessment looking not only at their breathing pattern but at all aspects of their life. Patients were then educated about problems with their breathing and an individualised treatment plan was devised. Carolyn travelled throughout New Zealand meeting individuals who are passionate about treating this patient group.

“It was a huge privilege to be able to observe these practitioners at work. The change in patients following one treatment session is profound. Changing an individual’s breathing pattern can dramatically improve their quality of life, their ability to function at work or their sporting performance. The awareness of Breathing Pattern Disorders in New Zealand appears much greater, within the medical community and the general public, than it is in the UK. This is something that we need to address” –Carolyn Bell

Since her return to the UK Carolyn has been collating the information she gathered in New Zealand to form the basis of her Fellowship report. She intends to disseminate her findings within the Respiratory Managed Clinical Network and to Physiotherapists across the UK. She is also exploring ways of raising awareness of this condition among the general public.

Contact: Carolyn.bell@Lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk