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Chest physiotherapy was of no benefit to children hospitalised with acute pneumonia

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In children with acute pneumonia, does chest physiotherapy hasten time to clinical resolution or shorten hospital stay?

Study design


Randomised controlled trial.


Random number table, however, method of allocation concealment not explicitly stated.


Attending paediatricians and assessors were blinded although details were not stated.

Study question


Paediatric wards of two tertiary hospitals in southern Brazil.


A total of 89 children aged 29 days to 12 years in hospital with pneumonia. There were no differences between the control (n=42) and intervention (n=47) groups in age, sex, prematurity, maternal smoking, clinical signs including arterial oxygen saturation, chest radiographic findings or antibiotic therapy.


Intervention group received chest physical therapy twice daily plus standard therapy for pneumonia and control group received standard therapy only. The chest physiotherapy sessions administered by a physiotherapist lasted 30 min. Standard therapy included antibiotic therapy, …

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  • Sources of funding Brazilian government research support agencies: the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), the National Council for the Scientific and Technologic Development (CNPq) and the Research Assistance Fund of Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS).


  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.