Table 3 Chest physiotherapy in the treatment of community acquired pneumonia in children
CitationStudy groupStudy type (level of evidence)OutcomeKey resultComments
Levine55 children aged 2–12 yearsRandomisedTime until improvementNo statistical difference in timePoor method of randomisation
(1978)1with presumed viralcontrol trialin pneumonic infiltrateuntil CXR improvement seenDifferent numbers of patients in
pneumonia. 32 received(level 2b)seen on serial CXRsbetween treatment group andtreatment and control groups
chest physiotherapy andand duration of fevercontrols (means 5.91 andnot explained. Diagnosis of
23 did not6.13 days)viral pneumonia not confirmed
Fever persisted for longer inby isolation studies or serology
treated group than in controlsAntibiotic therapy before or
(means 2.1 and 1.4 days,after admission not deemed
p<0.05)significant
Stapelton55 children with acuteCase seriesLength of hospital stay,No statistically significantPatients included in trial with
(1985)2uncomplicated respiratory(level 4)duration of cough ordifference between the twomix of diagnoses (9 bronchitis,
tract infections. 34 receivedcoryza and persistence ofgroups in any of the outcomes20 bronchiolitis and 26 pneumonia)
chest physiotherapy, 21 didwheeze, rhonci and ralesNo information as to the numbers
notwith each diagnosis in the
treatment groups
No details on the age of the children
in the trial
Textual summary of findings given
but limited data
Britton et al171 patients aged 15–75RandomisedDuration of fever, lengthNo statistically significantTrial of adults (15–75 years) not
(1985)3years with primarycontrol trialof hospital stay,difference between treatmentchildren
pneumonia. 94 randomised(level 1b)sequential determinationand control group in duration
to receive chestof dynamic airflow andof hospital stay (means 9.0
physiotherapy and 106subjective assessment ofand 7.8 days), improvement
randomised to controltime to complete healingin FEV1 after 5 days (means
group0.4 and 0.4 l) or subjective
healing time (means 30.6
and 31.3 days)
Duration of fever significantly
longer in treatment group
compared to controls (means
6.8 and 4.9 days, p<0.01)
  • CXR, chest x ray.