Objective Assessment

Objective assessment

A comprehensive objective assessment will assist with the prescription of an appropriate, individualised management plan.

It can include:

Test results

Radiology – HRCT, CXR – see Radiology

Lung function tests – see Lung Function

Pathology – sputum, blood – see Sputum Pathology

Vital signs

SpO2, heart rate, respiratory rate



Effectiveness of the cough

Sound – moist, dry, upper or lower airway closure

Paroxysmal cough

*Breathing pattern


Upper chest/lower chest

Vocal cord dysfunction

Respiratory rate


Spinal and thoracic cage mobility

Posture – fixed or habitual

Pain – location, intensity, affect on airway clearance and exercise

Gait – aids required

Exercise tolerance – see Exercise Prescription

Observation of techniques

Medication devices – MDI and spacer, accuhaler, turbuhaler, other

Current therapies – eg ACBT, flutter, PEP device

*Breathing pattern disorders are common in people with bronchiectasis as a slow, deep breath will often trigger a cough and nose breathing (which is important for the humidification and filtration of air) can often be difficult due to sinus issues. When chronic hyperventilation is suspected, the Nijmegen Questionnaire is a useful assessment tool and objective measure.

The Breathing Dysfunction video demonstrates the basic assessment and management of breathing dysfunction in people with chronic respiratory conditions

It is important to educate the patient in the importance of an appropriate breathing pattern.

An example of aBronchiectasis Physiotherapy Assessment Form

An example of a patient completed assessment form – Bronchiectasis Out-Patient Registration form