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Effect of Dynamic Breathing Exercises on Pulmonary and Cognitive Function in the Elderly

Human aging is inevitably linked to a decrease in the reserves of all physiological systems, including the respiratory system. This is reflected in decreased pulmonary function, which is associated with increased morbidity, mortality and the onset of dementia in the elderly. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of dynamic breathing exercises on pulmonary and cognitive function in the elderly. Twenty randomly selected subjects, aged between sixty-six and ninety, were divided into two groups. The test group was tasked with performing the prescribed dynamic breathing exercises for a further two months each day while the control group continued with their normal daily activities. The measurements were taken before and after the two-month study period, using spirometry to assess pulmonary function and using the standardized Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test (MOCA) to assess cognitive function. Data was analyzed with IBM SPSS 22 software using basic descriptive statistics, frequency distribution, and t-test for independent samples. With the exception of forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) after two months, both groups in our sample improved all of the measured parameters for both, pulmonary and cognitive function. The control group even showed a bigger improvement on all of the tests compared to the test group. Consequently, there were no statistically significant (p ≤ 0.05) differences between the groups in none of the measured parameters. Through the limitations of the research, we identified the need to use a larger research sample and also to set a tighter exclusion criteria, in order to prevent the influence of daily fluctuations in the psychophysiological state of the elderly on measurements.

Denis Kolšek
Alma Mater Europaea ECM
Slovenia

Patricija Goubar
Alma Mater Europaea ECM
Slovenia

 


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