News in brief: Yoga for severe asthma; Pharmacists on the COPD management team; COVID-19 vax webinar

Namaste to better respiratory health

Yoga classes focussed on increasing movement, controlled breathing and meditation to improve mindfulness marginally improve health-related quality of life in adults with severe asthma, according to a small feasibility study.

The Australian RCT randomised 24 participants to either two supervised group yoga classes per week for 16 weeks or a minimal physical activity goal setting intervention including an activity tracker and fortnightly phone calls from an exercise physiologist.

The study found the yoga intervention resulted in some improvement in the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and particularly in the SGRQ Activity subscale. There were also some non-statistically significant improvements in dyspnoea and asthma control in the yoga group.

Meanwhile the control group improved their time spent in moderate-vigorous physical activity from 14 to 44 minutes per day and step count by 682 steps per day.

The findings will help inform the design of a larger RCT addressing physical inactivity in severe asthma.

BMC Pulmonary Medicine

Pharmacy support for COPD patients

A pharmacy-based model of care for COPD patients in Sydney has shown significant health benefits for patients.

The intervention for patients involved three in-pharmacy visits with a visiting consultant pharmacist and two follow-up phone calls over six months.

The program addressed inhaler technique and medication adherence and included referrals back to GPs for non-pharmacologic treatment and prevention interventions such as a smoking cessation, pulmonary rehab or vaccinations.

A total of 270 interventions with 40 patients lead to significant improvements in inhaler technique, COPD exacerbation rate, COPD knowledge, COPD action plan ownership and immunisation rate for pneumonia.

However larger studies are required to further test the model of care against standard care.

International Journal of COPD

COVID-19 vaccines webinar

Lung Foundation Australia is hosting a COVID-19 vaccines webinar focussed on the specific needs of people living with lung conditions and what to expect with the vaccination roll out. Respiratory physician Professor Peter Wark will discuss COVID-19 vaccine trial data and discuss side effects and practical considerations for clinicians. GP Dr Kerry Hancock, who chairs the RACGP’s Respiratory Medicine SIG, will moderate the Q&A.

When: Wednesday, March 17. See the link for times in your state or territory.
Register here.

COVID-19 Vaccines Webinar

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