Background: High frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) has long been used for airway clearance for patients with cystic fibrosis. Only limited research has evaluated this therapy in adult patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFB). Methods: Data from 2596 patients from a registry of adult bronchiectasis patients using HFCWO therapy was used to evaluate hospitalization patterns before and after initiation of HFCWO therapy, as well as antibiotic use and self-reported metrics of quality of life. Self-reported outcomes were also reviewed by cross-checking with sampled patient charts and found to be consistent. Results: The number of patients who had at least one respiratory-related hospitalization decreased from 49.1% (192/391) in the year before to 24.0% (94/391) in the year after starting HFCWO therapy (p-value < 0.001). At the same time, the number of patients who required three or more hospitalizations dropped from 14.3% (56/391) to 5.6% (22/391). Patients currently taking oral antibiotics for respiratory conditions decreased from 57.7% upon initiation of therapy to 29.9% within 1 year (p < 0.001). Patients who subjectively rated their “overall respiratory health” as good to excellent increased from 13.6% upon initiation of therapy to 60.5% in 1 year (p < 0.001) and those who rated their “ability to clear your lungs” as good to excellent increased from 13.9% to 76.6% (p < 0.001). Conclusion: NCFB patients showed improved self-reported outcomes associated with the initiation of HFCWO therapy as measured by number of hospitalizations, antibiotic use, and the subjective experience of airway clearance. The improvement was observed early on after initiation of therapy and sustained for at least 1 year. The reviews of this paper are available via the supplemental material section.
- airway clearance
- high-frequency chest wall oscillation
- non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)