Update on complex nonpharmacological interventions for breathlessness

Yates, Patsy & Zhao, Isabella (2012) Update on complex nonpharmacological interventions for breathlessness. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, 6(2), pp. 144-152.

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Purpose of review: The study provides a review of current evidence about the role of complex nonpharmacological strategies in managing the multidimensional components of the breathlessness experience for individuals with life-limiting conditions.

Recent findings: Evidence continues to demonstrate the significant impact of breathlessness on patients’ quality of life, day-to-day activity, and physical and psychosocial functioning. Recent evidence also confirms that patients draw on a number of self-initiated actions to cope with breathlessness, although many do not use strategies that are supported by a growing body of evidence from randomized controlled trials. Current literature supports the use of multicomponent, nonpharmacological interventions comprising strategies to improve breathing efficiency and reducing psychological distress to manage breathlessness. However trials of these approaches have mostly been conducted among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer, and few studies have investigated the benefits of nonpharmacological for patients in later stages of disease. Further investigation of interventions is required across a broader range of chronic life-limiting conditions. Addressing breathlessness and its co-occurring symptoms (symptom clusters) is also an area for future enquiry.

Summary: The experience of breathlessness and strategies adopted by patients to manage the experience highlight the importance of multidimensional approaches to improve outcomes for patients with life-limiting conditions. There is good evidence to support the role of multicomponent, nonpharmacological interventions in reducing breathlessness for patients with COPD and lung cancer, although further studies are required to understand the particular clinical contexts in which such interventions are appropriate.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 57998
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e3283536413
Keywords: breathlessness, interventions, management, non-pharmacological, palliative care
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2013 03:11
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:36

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