Evaluation of a Multidisciplinary Breathlessness Support Service

Title: Evaluation of a Multidisciplinary Breathlessness Support Service
Author(s): Goss J, Drury A, Afolabi J., McHugh G., O'Leary N., Brady A. M.
Institution: Our Lady's Hospcie & Care Services, TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: General Respiratory and Sleep
Abstract: Chronic refractory breathlessness is defined as breathlessness at rest or with minimal exertion that persists despite optimal treatment of the underlying cause. It is a frightening symptom that decreases physical, mental and social functioning with wider implications for the individual, caregivers and health systems. The Multidisciplinary Breathlessness Support Service (MBSS) provides a brief intervention to support the management of refractory breathlessness in an outpatient palliative care setting.
A longitudinal mixed methods study was conducted. Service users (n=10) completed questionnaire including Chronic Respiratory Questionnaires [CRQ]), (Dyspnoea-12 [D-12]; and healthcare experience at T1 (at admission) and T2 (after discharge). A subsample of service users (n=8), referrers (n=2) and carers (n-1) were interviewed after T2 to discuss their experiences of using the service.
CRQ subscales demonstrated enhanced mastery (p=0.013), emotional function (p=0.014) and reduced fatigue (p=0.012). Statistically non – significant effects noted on [D-12]; and [CRQ] dyspnoea subscale. Interviewees, uniformly described positive impacts on their functional and emotional well-being.
The results of this study suggest that a multidisciplinary intervention which reflects service users individualised goals is feasible and positively affects emotional well-being, fatigue and mastery of this difficult symptom. Further exploration is needed to further examine service configuration and the duration of effect of the intervention.