• Led by a team at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London.
  • Aiming to provide clinicians, allied health professionals and managers with guidance on how to help patients self-manage breathlessness and support those with advanced disease.
  • Developing an online platform with information on a variety of innovative methods for breathlessness management and an interactive forum for knowledge sharing.
  • Started in December 2017 and is expected to finish by April 2019.

Breathlessness is common in many advanced diseases, including lung disease, cancer and heart failure. Drug treatment options are limited and non-drug treatments, such as walking aids and breath training, are often neglected. 

A team at the Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London has developed evidence around multi-disciplinary interventions for breathlessness. Their randomised controlled trial showed that access to a breathlessness support service improved patients’ quality of life and survival without increasing costs compared with usual care.

This project involves translating these findings into an online platform dedicated to innovations in breathlessness management (E-Breathe). The tool provides clinicians, allied health professionals and managers with guidance on non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions in breathlessness, and explains how to support patients with advanced disease.

E-Breathe users will be able to develop new skills through self-paced eLearning, in addition to sharing and exchanging knowledge through an interactive forum. It will be hosted on a secured virtual learning environment (Moodle) available both nationally and internationally, and accessed via a microsite.

Although the project has experienced unavoidable delays, the team has made substantial progress with digital infrastructure and has incorporated amendments based on feedback from patients, clinicians, researchers and eLearning technologists. These have included adding a comprehensive introductory module targeting clinicians with limited knowledge of breathlessness, and videos highlighting the impact of breathlessness on patients and their families.

Next steps will involve finalising content and functionality, and conducting user testing ahead of launching this valuable online resource, which aims to change perceptions and influence clinical practice around the management of breathlessness.

Contact details

Hamid Benalia, Research Associate Elearning and Technology, Cicely Saunders Institute, hamid.benalia@kcl.ac.uk

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