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Dyspnoea and Breathlessness in Palliative Care Nursing




This chapter explores dyspnoea, or breathlessness, a common and distressing symptom experienced by many people with advanced progressive diseases. Dyspnoea can be profoundly disruptive and is often a source of considerable anxiety to the individual and family. Beginning with an overview of the aetiology and pathophysiology of dyspnoea, this chapter offers a number of strategies, assessment tools and interventions for dealing with dyspnoea. It also offers a case study and a comprehensive reference list.


Contents include

  • A discussion of assessments and interventions for dyspnoea
  • Description of strategies that can be used for treating dyspnoea
  • An outline of current evidence regarding pharmacological management of dyspnoea
  • Practical case study
  • An extensive reference list (including books, journals and websites) for further reading and investigation
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Author / Editor Biographies

Associate Professor Patsy Yates is director of research for the Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (Queensland, Australia), and is director of postgraduate programs in the School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology. She has extensive experience in clinical practice, education, and research in cancer and palliative care and, for the past six years, has held an academic and clinical appointment with the Division of Oncology at Royal Brisbane Hospital (Queensland, Australia).
RN and BN (Hons).
Isabella Zhao is a senior research assistant at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology. Isabella is experienced in epidemiology, biostatistics and palliative care research. Her passion lies in promoting nursing interventions for symptom control in cancer and/or palliative care. Isabella is the co-author of 'Non-Pharmacological Interventions for Breathlessness Management in Patients with Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review', published in Palliative Medicine.
RN, BN (Hons), DAppSC(Biomed) and BA (Linguistics).
Vanessa Brunelli is a Nurse Researcher at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, and former Project Manager of the Dyspnoea Intervention Study conducted with Patsy Yates and Isabella Zhao. Vanessa's clinical expertise in haematology, oncology and palliative care nursing drives her strong research interest in improving the quality of life of people with advanced cancer, particularly in the promotion of sustainable behavioural interventions for self-management practice.

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