Copyright ©ERS 2018 Keeping airways clear of mucus by airway clearance techniques seems essential in bronchiectasis treatment, although no placebo-controlled trials or any studies lasting longer than 3 months have been conducted. We evaluate the efficacy of the ELTGOL (slow expiration with the glottis opened in the lateral posture) technique over a 1-year period in bronchiectasis patients with chronic expectoration in a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Patients were randomised to perform the ELTGOL technique (n=22) or placebo exercises (n=22) twice-daily (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01578681). The primary outcome was sputum volume during the first intervention and 24 h later. Secondary outcomes included sputum volume during the intervention and 24 h later at month 12, exacerbations, quality of life, sputum analyses, pulmonary function, exercise capacity, systemic inflammation, treatment adherence, and side effects. Sputum volume during intervention and 24 h later was higher in the ELTGOL group than in the placebo group both at the beginning and end of the study. Patients in the ELTGOL group had fewer exacerbations (p=0.042) and a clinically significant improvement in the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire score (p<0.001) and the Leicester Cough Questionnaire score compared with the placebo group (p<0.001). Twice-daily ELTGOL technique over 1 year in bronchiectasis patients facilitated secretion removal and was associated with fewer exacerbations, improved quality of life, and reduced cough impact.