A Multidimensional Profile of Dyspnea in Hospitalized Patients.

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A Multidimensional Profile of Dyspnea in Hospitalized Patients.

Chest. 2019 May 22;:

Authors: Stevens JP, Sheridan A, Bernstein H, Baker K, Lansing R, Schwartzstein RM, Banzett RB

BACKGROUND: Dyspnea is prevalent among hospitalized patients but little is known about the experience of dyspnea among inpatients. We sought to characterize the multiple sensations and associated emotions of dyspnea in patients admitted with dyspnea to a tertiary care hospital.
METHODS: We selected patients who reported breathing discomfort of at least 4/10 on admission (10=unbearable). Research staff recruited 156 patients within 24 hours of admission and evaluated daily patients' current and worst dyspnea with the Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile (MDP); patients participated in the study 2.6 days on average. The MDP assesses overall breathing discomfort (A1), intensity of 5 sensory qualities of dyspnea (SQ), and 5 negative emotional responses to dyspnea (A2). Patients were also asked to rate whether current levels of dyspnea were 'acceptable'.
RESULTS: At the time of the first research interview, patients reported slight to moderate dyspnea (A1 median 4); however, most patients reported experiencing severe dyspnea in the 24 hours prior to the interview (A1 mean 7.8). 54% of patients with dyspnea ≥ 4 on Day 1 found the symptom unacceptable. The worst dyspnea each day in the prior 24 hours usually occurred at rest. Dyspnea declined but persisted through hospitalization for most patients. 'Air hunger' was the dominant sensation, especially when dyspnea was strong (> 4). Anxiety and frustration were the dominant emotions associated with dyspnea.
CONCLUSIONS: This first multidimensional portrait of dyspnea in a general inpatient population characterizes the sensations and emotions dyspneic patients endure. The finding that air hunger is the dominant sensation of severe dyspnea has implications for design of laboratory models of these sensations and may have implications for targets of palliation of symptoms.

PMID: 31128117 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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