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Issues in Palliative Care Research$
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Russell K. Portenoy and Eduardo Bruera

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130652.001.0001

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Multidimensional Assessment of Dyspnea

Multidimensional Assessment of Dyspnea

Chapter:
(p.83) 6 Multidimensional Assessment of Dyspnea
Source:
Issues in Palliative Care Research
Author(s):

Russell K. Portenoy

Eduardo Bruera

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130652.003.0006

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

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