Respiratory physiotherapy in adult subjects hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. Literature review



Respiratory physiotherapy, pneumonia, community-acquired pneumonia, chest physiotherapy, respiratory rehabilitation



Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a respiratory infection in which the indication for respiratory physiotherapy (RF) is frequently observed. However, currently the recommendations regarding its use in CAP are controversial, and there is no evidence to support its use and allow us to know its real scope.


To review the evidence regarding the impact of RF in adult patients who are hospitalized for CAP.


5 studies met the inclusion criteria of this review. RF maneuvers included breathing exercises, postural drainage, percussion, vibration, incentive spirometry, expiratory resistance, chest support during respiratory movements, directed cough, and intermittent positive pressure. In the included studies, RF did not reduce mortality or improve spirometric values in patients with CAP, nor did it improve days to cure or hospital stay. Regarding costs, the use of RF in patients with CAP presented a significant increase in costs.


There is no evidence to support the routine use of RF in adult patients with CAP. We believe that future research is required to determine the impact of RF in adult patients with CAP, as well as to establish consensus regarding its indication, selection of maneuvers, standardization of techniques, times, and dosage.


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How to Cite

Herrero, M. V., García, A., Rositi, E. S., & Villalba, D. (2023). Respiratory physiotherapy in adult subjects hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. Literature review. Anales of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, 56(2), 109–116. Retrieved from