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Treatment of Dyspnea in Advanced Disease and at the End of Life.

Campbell ML, Donesky D, Sarkozy A, Reinke LF. Treatment of Dyspnea in Advanced Disease and at the End of Life. Journal of hospice and palliative nursing : JHPN : the official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. 2021 Oct 1; 23(5):406-420.

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Dyspnea is a subjective experience of breathing discomfort that consists of qualitatively distinct sensations, varies in intensity, and can only be known through the patient's report. Dyspnea is akin to suffocation and is one of the most distressing symptoms experienced by patients with advanced illness and at the end of life. Common approaches to dyspnea management, such as pulmonary rehabilitation, breathing strategies, or supplemental oxygen, have become accepted through pragmatic use or because studies do not include dyspnea as a measured outcome. Patients and clinicians urgently need evidence-based treatments to alleviate this frightening symptom. To fill this gap, a group of dyspnea researchers with expertise to conduct a literature review of evidence-based interventions for dyspnea in patients with serious illness produced these guidelines. We present the evidence from the strongest recommendations for practice to the weakest recommendations and include practical considerations for clinical nurses.

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