Multidimensional Assessment of Dyspnea

Russell K. Portenoy and Eduardo Bruera

in Issues in Palliative Care Research

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780195130652
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199999842 | DOI:
Multidimensional Assessment of Dyspnea

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Dyspnea, an awareness of breathing discomfort, is a very common symptom that accompanies many illnesses and pathological conditions. In people with mild to moderate cardiovascular disease, breathlessness limits physical activity, and people with advanced cardiovascular disease are dyspneic even at rest. Dyspnea is a very complex, subjective experience that is multidimensional in nature and involves many factors that modulate both the quality and intensity of its perception. At the present, there is no single instrument that assesses all components of the sensation of shortness of breath. It is important when assessing dyspnea to choose the appropriate method depending on the setting and the questions to be asked. For the palliative patient, it is also important that the burden be not too onerous and appropriate to the prognosis and stage of disease.

Keywords: breathing discomfort; breathlessness; palliative care; cardiovascular disease; dyspnea

Chapter.  6185 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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