Perceptions of inspiratory muscle training in adults recovering from COVID-19

James Shelley, Joanne Hudson, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Zoe L. Saynor, Jamie Duckers, Keir Lewis, Gwyneth A. Davies, Ronan M. G. Berg, Melitta A. McNarry

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Post COVID-19 condition can occur following infection with SARS-CoV-2 and is characterised by persistent symptoms, including fatigue, breathlessness and cognitive dysfunction, impacting everyday functioning. This study explored how people living with post COVID-19 experienced an eight-week inspiratory muscle training (IMT) rehabilitation programme. Individualised semi-structured interviews with 33 adults (29 female; 49 ± 10 years; 6–11 months post-infection) explored expectations of IMT prior to the intervention, and post intervention interviews explored perceptions of IMT and its impact on recovery. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. IMT helped many to feel proactive in managing their symptoms and was associated with perceived improvements in respiratory symptoms, exercise and work capacity, and daily functioning. IMT was well perceived and offers significant potential for use as part of a holistic recovery programme, although it is important to consider the complex, varied symptoms of post COVID-19, necessitating an individually tailored rehabilitation approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0270620
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2022


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