Managing severe breathlessness in patients with end-stage COPD
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Managing severe breathlessness in patients with end-stage COPD

Jane Leyshon Community matron, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, Bracknell, and freelance Education for Health trainer

The disease trajectory in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be long and uncertain, making it difficult to identify when patients are at the end-stage of the disease. Patients with COPD have been found to experience similar levels of symptom burden to those with lung cancer, yet they are less likely to receive palliative care and treatment with opiates, anxiolytics or antidepressants. This article focuses on pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to the management of severe breathlessness in patients with end-stage COPD.

Nursing Standard. 27, 6,48-56. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.10.27.6.48.c9349

Published in print: 10 October 2012

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review