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Managing breathlessness in palliative care: review of the evidence
  1. Flavio Gil Lopes de Sousa
  1. Correspondence to Mr. Flavio Gil Lopes de Sousa, Department of Cardiology, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Queen Alexandra Rd, High Wycombe HP11 2TT, UK; fgilsousa{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Breathlessness is a symptom frequently experienced in end of life. The assessment and management of breathlessness can present a challenge to healthcare professionals due to its complexity and multidimensional character. Current recommendations for the assessment of breathlessness are explored but a single specific instrument for the assessment could not be suggested. The focus of the article is set on the review of the available evidence for the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of the symptom. Respectively, opioid drugs and the use of handheld fans were the interventions found to gather stronger evidence, while oxygen is only recommended in specific circumstances.

  • Breathlessness
  • multidimensional
  • assessment
  • management

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Footnotes

  • Contributors The article is an original work produced by the author alone.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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