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Managing breathlessness in palliative care: review of the evidence

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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