Review Collection: Dyspnoea

65 reviews


Elliott-Button HL, Johnson MJ, Nwulu U, Clark J. Identification and Assessment of Breathlessness in Clinical Practice: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019 Oct 23. pii: S0885-3924(19)30605-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.10.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Haywood A, Duc J, Good P, Khan S, Rickett K, Vayne-Bossert P, Hardy JR. Systemic corticosteroids for the management of cancer-related breathlessness (dyspnoea) in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Feb 20;2:CD012704. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012704.pub2.

Kako J, Kobayashi M, Oosono Y, Kajiwara K, Miyashita M. Immediate Effect of Fan Therapy in Terminal Cancer With Dyspnea at Rest: A Meta-Analysis. Am J Hosp Palliat Med. 2019 Sep 04. doi: 10.1177/1049909119873626. [Epub ahead of print]

León Delgado M, Campos LR, Bastidas Goyes A, Herazo Cubillos A, Martin Arsanios D, Muñoz Ortíz J, Cifuentes Serrano A, García Ávila P, Beltrán Caro M. Opioids for the management of dyspnea in patients with heart failure: a systematic review of the literature. Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology. 47(1):49-56, Jan-Mar 2019.

Lovell N, Etkind SN, Bajwah S, Maddocks M, Higginson IJ. Control and context are central for people with advanced illness experiencing breathlessness: A systematic review and thematic-synthesis. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019 Jan;57(1):140-155.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.09.021. Epub 2018 Oct 4.

Qian Y, Wu Y, Rozman de Moraes A, Yi X, Geng Y, Dibaj S, Liu D, Naberhuis J, Bruera E. Fan Therapy for the Treatment of Dyspnea in Adults: A Systematic Review. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019 Sep;58(3):481-486. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.04.011. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Senderovich H, Yendamuri A. Management of Breathlessness in Palliative Care: Inhalers and Dyspnea-A Literature Review. Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2019 Jan 28;10(1). doi: 10.5041/RMMJ.10357.

von Trott P, Oei SL, Ramsenthaler C. Acupuncture for breathlessness in advanced diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2019 Sep 17. pii: S0885-3924(19)30527-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.09.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Yu S, Sun K, Xing X, Zhong Y, Yan X, Qiu W, Yan M. Fan Therapy for the Relief of Dyspnea in Adults with Advanced Disease and Terminal Illness: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Palliat Med. 2019 Dec;22(12):1603-1609. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2019.0140. Epub 2019 Oct 1.


Brighton LJ, Miller S, Farquhar M, Booth S, Yi D, Gao W, Bajwah S, Man WD, Higginson IJ, Maddocks M. Holistic services for people with advanced disease and chronic breathlessness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Thorax. 2018 Nov 29. pii: thoraxjnl-2018-211589. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-211589. [Epub ahead of print]

Collis SP. Literature review of clinical benefits and reasons to prescribe palliative oxygen therapy in non-hypoxaemic patients. Br J Nurs. 2018 Nov 22;27(21):1255-1260. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2018.27.21.1255.

Jansen K, Haugen DF, Pont L, Ruths S. Safety and Effectiveness of Palliative Drug Treatment in the Last Days of Life-A Systematic Literature Review. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 Feb;55(2):508-521.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.06.010. Epub 2017 Aug 10.

Klingman KJ, Sullivan S. Associations between Sleep Disorders and Comfort at End-of-Life: Opportunities for Improvement. Sleep Med Res. 2018 Dec 30;9(2):110-114. doi:

Nakano J, Hashizume K, Fukushima T, Ueno K, Matsuura E, Ikio Y, Ishii S, Morishita S, Tanaka K, Kusuba Y. Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Exercises on Physical Symptoms in Cancer Patients: A Meta-analysis. Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Dec;17(4):1048-1058. doi: 10.1177/1534735418807555. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

Pieper L, Zernikow B, Drake R, Frosch M, Printz M, Wager J. Dyspnea in Children with Life-Threatening and Life-Limiting Complex Chronic Conditions. J Palliat Med. 2018 Apr;21(4):552-564. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2017.0240. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Steindal SA, Torheim H, Oksholm T, Christensen VL, Lee K, Lerdal A, Markussen HØ, Gran G, Leine M, Borge CR. Effectiveness of nursing interventions for breathlessness in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Adv Nurs. 2018 Nov 5. doi: 10.1111/jan.13902. [Epub ahead of print]

Strieder M, Pecherstorfer M, Kreye G. Symptomatic treatment of dyspnea in advanced cancer patients: A narrative review of the current literature. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2018 Oct;168(13-14):333-343. doi: 10.1007/s10354-017-0600-4. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


Afolabi TM, Nahata MC, Pai V. Nebulized opioids for the palliation of dyspnea in terminally ill patients. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2017 Jul 15;74(14):1053-1061. doi: 10.2146/ajhp150893.

Jaiswal N, Singh M, Agarwal A, Thumburu KK. Palliative drug treatments for breathlessness in cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Aug 10;8:CD011855. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011855.pub2.


Barnes H, McDonald J, Smallwood N, Manser R. Opioids for the palliation of refractory breathlessness in adults with advanced disease and terminal illness. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Mar 31;3:CD011008.

Cabezón-Gutiérrez L, Khosravi-Shahi P, Custodio-Cabello S, Muñiz-González F, Cano-Aguirre Mdel P, Alonso-Viteri S. Opioids for management of episodic breathlessness or dyspnea in patients with advanced disease. Support Care Cancer. 2016 Sep;24(9):4045-55. doi: 10.1007/s00520-016-3316-x. Epub 2016 Jun 22.


Ekström M, Nilsson F, Abernethy AA, Currow DC. Effects of opioids on breathlessness and exercise capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A systematic review. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Jul;12(7):1079-92.

Uronis HE, Ekström MP, Currow DC, McCrory DC, Samsa GP, Abernethy AP. Oxygen for relief of dyspnoea in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who would not qualify for home oxygen: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Thorax. 2015 May;70(5):492-4. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Vargas-Bermúdez A, Cardenal F, Porta-Sales J. Opioids for the Management of Dyspnea in Cancer Patients: Evidence of the Last 15 Years-A Systematic Review. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2015 Dec;29(4):341-52. Epub 2015 Nov 2.


Bausewein C, Simon ST. Inhaled nebulized and intranasal opioids for the relief of breathlessness. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2014 Sep;8(3):208-12.

López-Saca JM, Centeno C. Opioids prescription for symptoms relief and the impact on respiratory function: updated evidence. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2014 Dec;8(4):383-90.


Bausewein C, Simon ST. Shortness of breath and cough in patients in palliative care. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2013 Aug;110(33-34):563-72. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Jeba J, George R, Pease N. Nebulised furosemide in the palliation of dyspnoea in cancer: a systematic review. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2013 Dec 17.

Simon ST, Bausewein C, Schildmann E, Higginson IJ, Magnussen H, Scheve C, Ramsenthaler C. Episodic breathlessness in patients with advanced disease: a systematic review. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2013 Mar;45(3):561-78. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Simon ST, Köskeroglu P, Gaertner J, Voltz R. Fentanyl for the relief of refractory breathlessness: a systematic review. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2013 Dec;46(6):874-86. Epub 2013 Jun 4.


Smith TA, Davidson PM, Lam LT, Jenkins CR, Ingham JM. The use of non-invasive ventilation for the relief of dyspnoea in exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; a systematic review. Respirology. 2012 Feb;17(2):300-7.


Thomas S, Bausewein C, Higginson I, Booth S. Breathlessness in cancer patients - implications, management and challenges. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2011 Dec;15(5):459-69. Epub 2011 Jan 15.

Van Meter ME, McKee KY, Kohlwes RJ. Efficacy and safety of tunneled pleural catheters in adults with malignant pleural effusions: a systematic review. J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Jan;26(1):70-6. Epub 2010 Aug 10.


Johnson MJ, Oxberry SG, Cleland JG, Clark AL. Measurement of breathlessness in clinical trials in patients with chronic heart failure: the need for a standardized approach: a systematic review. Eur J Heart Fail. 2010 Feb;12(2):137-47.

Mularski RA, Campbell ML, Asch SM, Reeve BB, Basch E, Maxwell TL, Hoverman JR, Cuny J, Clauser SB, Snyder C, Seow H, Wu AW, Dy S. A review of quality of care evaluation for the palliation of dyspnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Mar 15;181(6):534-8. Epub 2010 Jan 7.

Simon ST, Higginson IJ, Booth S, Harding R, Bausewein C. Benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in advanced malignant and non-malignant diseases in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD007354. [Updated 2016]

Thomas MJ, Simpson J, Riley R, Grant E. The impact of home-based physiotherapy interventions on breathlessness during activities of daily living in severe COPD: a systematic review. Physiotherapy. 2010 Jun;96(2):108-19. Epub 2010 Jan 18.


Hochgerner M, Fruhwald FM, Strohscheer I. Opioids for symptomatic therapy of dyspnoea in patients with advanced chronic heart failure--is there evidence? Wien Med Wochenschr. 2009 Dec;159(23-24):577-82.

Lorenz KA, Dy SM, Naeim A, Walling AM, Sanati H, Smith P, Shanman R, Roth CP, Asch SM. Quality measures for supportive cancer care: the Cancer Quality-ASSIST Project. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2009 Jun;37(6):943-64. Epub 2009 Apr 8.


Bausewein C, Booth S, Gysels M, Higginson I. Non-pharmacological interventions for breathlessness in advanced stages of malignant and non-malignant diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD005623

Ben-Aharon I, Gafter-Gvili A, Paul M, Leibovici L, Stemmer SM. Interventions for alleviating cancer-related dyspnea: a systematic review. J Clin Oncol. 2008 May 10;26(14):2396-404.

Booth S, Moosavi SH, Higginson IJ. The etiology and management of intractable breathlessness in patients with advanced cancer: a systematic review of pharmacological therapy. Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2008 Feb;5(2):90-100.

Cranston JM, Crockett A, Currow D. Oxygen therapy for dyspnoea in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jul 16;(3):CD004769. [Withdrawn 2013]

DiSalvo WM, Joyce MM, Tyson LB, Culkin AE, Mackay K. Putting evidence into practice: evidence-based interventions for cancer-related dyspnea. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2008 Apr;12(2):341-52.

Dy SM, Lorenz KA, Naeim A, Sanati H, Walling A, Asch SM. Evidence-based recommendations for cancer fatigue, anorexia, depression, and dyspnea. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Aug 10;26(23):3886-95.

Lorenz KA, Lynn J, Dy SM, Shugarman LR, Wilkinson A, Mularski RA, Morton SC, Hughes RG, Hilton LK, Maglione M, Rhodes SL, Rolon C, Sun VC, Shekelle PG. Evidence for improving palliative care at the end of life: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jan 15;148(2):147-59.

Newton PJ, Davidson PM, Macdonald P, Ollerton R, Krum H. Nebulized furosemide for the management of dyspnea: does the evidence support its use? J Pain Symptom Manage. 2008 Oct;36(4):424-41. Epub 2008 May 12.

Qaseem A, Snow V, Shekelle P, Casey DE Jr, Cross JT Jr, Owens DK; Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee of the American College of Physicians, Dallas P, Dolan NC, Forciea MA, Halasyamani L, Hopkins RH Jr, Shekelle P. Evidence-based interventions to improve the palliative care of pain, dyspnea, and depression at the end of life: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jan 15;148(2):141-6.

Schönhofer B, Kuhlen R, Neumann P, Westhoff M, Berndt C, Sitter H. Clinical practice guideline: non-invasive mechanical ventilation as treatment of acute respiratory failure. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2008 Jun;105(24):424-33. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

Uronis HE, Currow DC, McCrory DC, Samsa GP, Abernethy AP. Oxygen for relief of dyspnoea in mildly- or non-hypoxaemic patients with cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Cancer. 2008 Jan 29;98(2):294-9. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Viola R, Kiteley C, Lloyd NS, Mackay JA, Wilson J, Wong RK; Supportive Care Guidelines Group of the Cancer Care Ontario Program in Evidence-Based Care. The management of dyspnea in cancer patients: a systematic review. Support Care Cancer. 2008 Apr;16(4):329-37. Epub 2008 Jan 24.

Zhao I, Yates P. Non-pharmacological interventions for breathlessness management in patients with lung cancer: a systematic review.  Palliat Med. 2008 Sep;22(6):693-701.


Bausewein C, Farquhar M, Booth S, Gysels M, Higginson IJ. Measurement of breathlessness in advanced disease: a systematic review. Respir Med. 2007 Mar;101(3):399-410. Epub 2006 Aug 17.

Dorman S, Byrne A, Edwards A. Which measurement scales should we use to measure breathlessness in palliative care? a systematic review. Palliat Med. 2007 Apr;21(3):177-91. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Gysels M, Bausewein C, Higginson IJ. Experiences of breathlessness: a systematic review of the qualitative literature. Palliat Support Care. 2007 Sep;5(3):281-302.

Kallet RH. The role of inhaled opioids and furosemide for the treatment of dyspnea. Respir Care. 2007 Jul;52(7):900-10.


Heffernan C, Jenkinson C, Holmes T, Macleod H, Kinnear W, Oliver D, Leigh N, Ampong MA. Management of respiration in MND/ALS patients: An evidence based review. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2006 Mar;7(1):5-15.


Booth S, Wade R, Johnson M, Kite S, Swannick M, Anderson H; Expert Working Group of the Scientific Committee of the Association of Palliative Medicine. The use of oxygen in the palliation of breathlessness. A report of the expert working group of the Scientific Committee of the Association of Palliative Medicine. Respir Med. 2004 Jan;98(1):66-77.

Gallagher R, Roberts D. A systematic review of oxygen and airflow effect on relief of dyspnea at rest in patients with advanced disease of any cause. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2004;18(4):3-15.

Shaw P, Agarwal R. Pleurodesis for malignant pleural effusions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD002916. [Withdrawn 2013]


Salman GF, Mosier MC, Beasley BW, Calkins DR. Rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease : meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Mar;18(3):213-21.


Jennings AL, Davies AN, Higgins JP, Gibbs JS, Broadley KE. A systematic review of the use of opioids in the management of dyspnoea. Thorax. 2002 Nov;57(11):939-44.


Jennings AL, Davies AN, Higgins JP, Broadley K. Opioids for the palliation of breathlessness in terminal illness. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev 2001;(4):CD002066. [Withdrawn 2012]


Pan CX, Morrison RS, Ness J, Fugh-Berman A, Leipzig RM. Complementary and alternative medicine in the management of pain, dyspnea, and nausea and vomiting near the end of life. A systematic review. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000 Nov;20(5):374-87.

Last updated 08 January 2020