Zhao, I., & Yates, P. (2008). Non-pharmacological interventions for breathlessness management in patients with lung cancer: A systematic review. Palliative Medicine, 22(6), 693-701.doi: 10.1177/0269216308095024
The objective of the article was to review studies that evaluated nonpharmacologic interventions for breathlessness management in patients with lung cancer.
One hundred sixty-nine abstracts were retrieved, 15 articles were reviewed, and five studies ultimately were included. Studies were eliminated based on selection criteria. Standardized abstraction procedures were used to evaluate included studies.
A total of 370 patients were in the five studies included [Corner (20), Bredin (103), Connors (14) , Hately (30), Moore (203)].
All studies included behavioral, psychological, and educational interventions, although the method of delivery varied between studies.
Evidence is moderately strong to suggest benefit of a counseling and supportive educational intervention to alleviate breathlessness in patients with lung cancer. While all studies showed benefit with a multicomponent nonpharmacologic intervention approach, whether all components are warranted or whether one component is more/less effective than another is inconclusive.
Studies were limited by small sample size or high attrition rates.
Nurses should consider providing support and counseling for breathing techniques, relaxation, and breathing retraining in patients with breathlessness and lung cancer.