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Assessing dyspnoea to make people more comfortable at the end of life

Study looks at improving end of life care through the use of a dyspnoea assessment tool

Study looks at improving end of life care through the use of a dyspnoea assessment tool

Dyspnoea – shortness of breath – is one of the most commonly occurring and distressing symptoms at the end of life, proving emotionally difficult and upsetting for patients, family members and professional carers alike.

In the final days of life, many patients may lose or otherwise lack the physiological or cognitive capacity to self-report this symptom, placing greater onus on nurses to more capably assess breathing discomfort, so that it can be better treated and managed.

Structured educational programme

Conventionally, pragmatic empirical practice has been more common than the use of standardised assessment tools. This pre-experimental pre-test/post-test American study evaluated the impact of a structured educational programme for nurses, incorporating


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