Incentive Spirometry After Lung Resection: A Randomized Controlled Trial
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BACKGROUND: Incentive spirometry (IS) is thought to reduce the incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC) after lung resection. We sought to determine whether the addition of IS to routine physiotherapy following lung resection results in a lower rate of PPC, as compared with physiotherapy alone. METHODS: A single-blind prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted in adults undergoing lung resection. Individuals with previous lung surgery or home oxygen were excluded. Participants randomized to the control arm (PHY) received routine physiotherapy alone (deep breathing, ambulation and shoulder exercises). Those randomized to the intervention arm (PHY/IS) received IS in addition to routine physiotherapy. The trial was powered to detect a 10% difference in the rate of PPC (β = 80%). Student's t test and chi-square were utilized for continuous and categorical variables, respectively, with a significance level of p = 0.05. RESULTS: A total of 387 participants (n = 195 PHY/IS; n = 192 PHY) were randomized between 2014 and 2017. Baseline characteristics were comparable for both arms. The majority of patients underwent a pulmonary lobectomy (PHY/IS = 59.5%, PHY = 61.0%; p = 0.84), with no difference in the rates of minimally invasive and open procedures. There were no differences in the incidence of PPC at 30 days postoperatively (PHY/IS = 12.3%, PHY = 13.0%; p = 0.88). There were no differences in rates of pneumonia (PHY/IS = 4.6%, PHY = 7.8%; p = 0.21), mechanical ventilation (PHY/IS = 2.1%, PHY = 1.0%; p = 0.41), home oxygen (PHY/IS = 13.8%, PHY = 14.6%; p = 0.89), hospital length of stay (PHY/IS = 4 days, PHY = 4 days; p = 0.34), or rate of readmission to hospital (PHY/IS = 10.3%, PHY = 9.9%; p = 1.00). CONCLUSIONS: The addition of IS to routine postoperative physiotherapy does not reduce the incidence of PPC after lung resection.
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