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Inspiratory Muscle Training

Inspiratory muscle training (IMT), performed in isolation using a threshold loading device or target-flow resistive device at loads equal to or greater than 30% of an individual’s maximum inspiratory pressure generated against an occluded airway (PImax) has been shown to increase inspiratory muscle strength and endurance and reduce dyspnoea in patients with COPD. Training may also result in modest improvements in 6 minute walking distance and health-related quality of life. However, it remains unclear whether IMT combined with a program of whole-body exercise training confers additional benefits in dyspnoea, exercise capacity or health-related quality of life in patients with COPD. At present, the evidence does not support the routine use of IMT as an essential component of pulmonary rehabilitation program. (For further details on IMT see Geddes 2008, Lotters 2003, O’Brien 2008, Ries, 2007).