Effects of Body Position on the Outcome of Pulmonary Function Tests in Non-Mechanically Ventilated Adults: A Brief Review
Keywords:Body position, pulmonary function, pulmonary function tests, sitting position, supine position, lying position, ventilation, postural change.
Background: The most important focus of pulmonary physical therapy has been to improve pulmonary
function. Studies have indicated that body position affects pulmonary function. Pulmonary Function Tests
are a group of tests that are routinely performed to objectively assess lung volumes and capacities and are
commonly performed in sitting position. However, positions other than sitting have to be considered in
certain disease conditions when the patient may not be able to attain sitting posture. The result may provide
objective data regarding positions suitable for pulmonary function measurements.
Methodology: A search to identify articles from the last five years from the period January 2015-January
2020 was conducted using free access search engines Medline, Pubmed and Google Scholar. Search was
undertaken using both, key words and MeSH words for maximal retrieval of literature. Some older articles
relevant to the topic were also included in this study.
Conclusion: The effect of sitting and lying positions on pulmonary function tests vary across study
populations which makes it difficult to establish an optimal position for performing pulmonary function
tests. However, supine lying position may be considered in those disease conditions where adopting a sitting
position may not be possible for the subject.
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