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      A review of halotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          Abstract

          Background

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic, progressive disease and is treated with inhaled medication to optimize the patient’s lung health through decreasing their symptoms, especially breathlessness. Halotherapy is the inhalation of micronized dry salt within a chamber that mimics a salt cave environment. Recent media reports suggest that this therapy may help with the symptoms of COPD.

          Objective

          To critically evaluate and summarize the evidence for the use of halotherapy as a treatment for COPD.

          Design

          A review using systematic approach and narrative synthesis.

          Data sources

          Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Google Scholar were searched. Two reviewers independently reviewed abstracts and selected eligible studies based on predetermined selection criteria.

          Results

          Of the 151 articles retrieved from databases and relevant reference lists, only one randomized controlled trial met the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis was unable to be conducted due to the limited number of published studies. Inclusion criteria were subsequently expanded to allow three case-control studies to be included, ensuring that a narrative synthesis could be completed. From the pooled data of the four studies, there were 1,041 participants (661 in the intervention group and 380 in the control group). The assessment of methodological quality raised issues associated with randomization and patient selection. Three themes were identified from the narrative synthesis: respiratory function, quality of life, and medication use.

          Conclusion

          Themes generated from the narrative synthesis data reflect outcome measures regularly used for interventional research associated with COPD. From this review, recommendations for inclusion of halotherapy as a therapy for COPD cannot be made at this point and there is a need for high quality studies to determine the effectiveness of this therapy.

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          Most cited references 24

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          COPD exacerbations .1: Epidemiology.

          The epidemiology of exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is reviewed with particular reference to the definition, frequency, time course, natural history and seasonality, and their relationship with decline in lung function, disease severity and mortality. The importance of distinguishing between recurrent and relapsed exacerbations is discussed.
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            Epidemiology of COPD.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is responsible for early mortality, high death rates and significant cost to health systems. The projection for 2020 indicates that COPD will be the third leading cause of death worldwide (from sixth in 1990) and fifth leading cause of years lost through early mortality or handicap (disability-adjusted life years) (12th in 1990). Active smoking remains the main risk factor, but other factors are becoming better known, such as occupational factors, infections and the role of air pollution. Prevalence of COPD varies according to country, age and sex. This disease is also associated with significant comorbidities. COPD is a disorder that includes various phenotypes, the continuum of which remains under debate. The major challenge in the coming years will be to prevent onset of smoking along with early detection of the disease in the general population.
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              The Global Burden of Disease 2004 Update

               C Mathers,  D. Fat,  J Boerma (2008)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2014
                21 February 2014
                : 9
                : 239-246
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Family and Community Health University Research Group, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown Campus, Sydney, NSW, Australia
                [2 ]Centre for Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Division of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College, South Kensington, London, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Institute of Applied Health Research, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Rachael Rashleigh, Family and Community Health University Research Group, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia, Tel +61 2 4620 3532, Fax +61 2 4620 3199, Email rachael@ 123456rashleigh.com.au
                Article
                copd-9-239
                10.2147/COPD.S57511
                3937102
                © 2014 Rashleigh et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Respiratory medicine

                salt cave, chronic disease, aerosol, lung disease, speleotherapy, salt therapy

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