Respiratory Physio and OPEP Devices
RESPIRATORY PHYSIO AND THE USE OF OPEP DEVICES
Article by Graceville Physiotherapist Meris Tan
An Aerobika is an oscillating positive expiratory pressure (OPEP) device designed to loosen sputum build up in the lungs to aid in the clearance of airways. Similar to percussions and vibrations, the oscillatory component stimulates vibrations within the airway to dislodge secretions and reduce the viscosity of thick secretions. The PEP component then encourages airflow behind these secretions to help move them up the air passage for excretion. This device is especially beneficial for lung conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, and lung infections .
Studies have shown that using the Aerobika is an effective method to improve gas exchange, reduced shortness of breath, prevent recurring infections and improve quality of life in patients . Furthermore, multiple sources suggest that PEP devices are as effective as traditional postural drainage and percussion therapy for airway clearance . Consequently, a combination of therapies (e.g. ACTs + OPEP) should be used to provide the best outcomes. Additionally, the benefit of this technique is that patients can do it independently after being taught the correct technique by a qualified physiotherapist . This makes OPEP devices a cost-effective method for the long term management of respiratory conditions.
All our physiotherapists are qualified at teaching respiratory patients the use of the Aerobika in conjunction with the active cycle of breathing technique.
 Bronchiectasis. (2017). Aerobika Device for Bronchiectasis. Retrieved from: https://bronchiectasis.com.au/physiotherapy/aerobika-device-bronchiectasis
 Bourbeau, J., McIvor, R. A., Devlin, H. M., & Kaplan, A. (2019). Oscillating positive expiratory pressure (OPEP) device therapy in Canadian respiratory disease management: Review, care gaps and suggestion for use. Canadian Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, 3(4), 233-240.
 Coppolo, D. P., Schloss, J., Suggett, J. A ., & Mitchell, J. P. (2022). Non-pharmaceutical techniques for obstructive airway clearance focusing on the role of oscillating positive expiratory pressure (OPEP): a narrative review. Pulmonary Therapy, 8, 1-41.