J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Jan 19. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06439-0. Online ahead of print.
Internists frequently care for patients who suffer from breathlessness in both the inpatient and the outpatient settings. Patients may experience chronic refractory breathlessness despite thorough evaluation and management of their underlying medical illnesses. Left unmanaged, chronic breathlessness is associated with worsened quality of life, more frequent visits to the emergency room, and decreased activity levels, as well as increased levels of depression and anxiety. This narrative review summarizes recent research on interventions for the relief of breathlessness, including both non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic options.