Bausewein, C., Booth, S., Gysels, M., Kuhnbach, R., & Higginson, I.J. (2010). Effectiveness of a hand-held fan for breathlessness: A randomised phase II trial. BMC Palliative Care, 9, 22.doi: 10.1186/1472-684X-9-22
The objective of the study was to determine effectiveness and acceptance of use of a handheld fan to relieve breathlessness in patients with advance chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer.
Patients were randomly assigned to the fan or control groups. Control patients were given a wristband and instructed to wear it constantly and pull it at short intervals when breathless. Patients in the intervention group were given a handheld fan, shown how to use it (aimed at the central part of the face), and given a booklet with instructions for use. Data were collected at baseline and by monthly postal questionnaires for six months or until the patient died.
The study was conducted in an unspecified single site in the United Kingdom.
The study was a randomized controlled trial.
A modified Borg scale was used.
This study shows that use of a handheld fan for breathlessness was not effective.
Findings do not show any benefit of a handheld fan to help patients with the sensation of breathlessness.