A lack of good outcome measures has been a barrier to the development of an evidence base for all areas of respiratory physiotherapy. Many of the clinically available outcome measures are not specifically related to the physiotherapy intervention employed and may be affected by other factors. In this paper, the outcome measures currently clinically available to UK NHS physiotherapists to assess the response to alveolar recruitment and airway clearance interventions have been reviewed. It is clear that there is an urgent need to increase the accuracy, reliability, and sensitivity of the outcome measures employed, or to develop new measures to assess the effectiveness of respiratory physiotherapy. Lung sounds provide useful, specific information, but standard auscultation is too subjective to allow them to be used as an outcome measure. Computer Aided Lung Sound Analysis (CALSA) is proposed as a new objective, non-invasive, bedside clinical measure with the potential to monitor and assess the effects of airway clearance therapy
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