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      Holistic services for people with advanced disease and chronic breathlessness: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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          Abstract

          Background

          Breathlessness is a common, distressing symptom in people with advanced disease and a marker of deterioration. Holistic services that draw on integrated palliative care have been developed for this group. This systematic review aimed to examine the outcomes, experiences and therapeutic components of these services.

          Methods

          Systematic review searching nine databases to June 2017 for experimental, qualitative and observational studies. Eligibility and quality were independently assessed by two authors. Data on service models, health and cost outcomes were synthesised, using meta-analyses as indicated. Data on recipient experiences were synthesised thematically and integrated at the level of interpretation and reporting.

          Results

          From 3239 records identified, 37 articles were included representing 18 different services. Most services enrolled people with thoracic cancer, involved palliative care staff and comprised 4–6 contacts over 4–6 weeks. Commonly used interventions included breathing techniques, psychological support and relaxation techniques. Meta-analyses demonstrated reductions in Numeric Rating Scale distress due to breathlessness (n=324; mean difference (MD) −2.30, 95% CI −4.43 to −0.16, p=0.03) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) depression scores (n=408, MD −1.67, 95% CI −2.52 to −0.81, p<0.001) favouring the intervention. Statistically non-significant effects were observed for Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ) mastery (n=259, MD 0.23, 95% CI −0.10 to 0.55, p=0.17) and HADS anxiety scores (n=552, MD −1.59, 95% CI −3.22 to 0.05, p=0.06). Patients and carers valued tailored education, self-management interventions and expert staff providing person-centred, dignified care. However, there was no observable effect on health status or quality of life, and mixed evidence around physical function.

          Conclusion

          Holistic services for chronic breathlessness can reduce distress in patients with advanced disease and may improve psychological outcomes of anxiety and depression. Therapeutic components of these services should be shared and integrated into clinical practice.

          Registration number

          CRD42017057508.

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          Most cited references 52

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          Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Widespread application of pulmonary rehabilitation (also known as respiratory rehabilitation) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be preceded by demonstrable improvements in function (health-related quality of life, functional and maximal exercise capacity) attributable to the programmes. This review updates the review reported in 2006.
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            Goal attainment scaling (GAS) in rehabilitation: a practical guide.

            Goal attainment scaling is a mathematical technique for quantifying the achievement (or otherwise) of goals set, and it can be used in rehabilitation. Because several different approaches are described in the literature, this article presents a simple practical approach to encourage uniformity in its application. It outlines the process of setting goals appropriately, so that the achievement of each goal can be measured on a 5-point scale ranging from -2 to +2, and then explains a method for quantifying the outcome in a single aggregated goal attainment score. This method gives a numerical T-score which is normally distributed about a mean of 50 (if the goals are achieved precisely) with a standard deviation of around this mean of 10 (if the goals are overachieved or underachieved). If desired, the approach encompasses weighting of goals to reflect the opinion of the patient on the personal importance of the goal and the opinion of the therapist or team on the difficulty of achieving the goal. Some practical tips are offered, as well as a simple spreadsheet (in Microsoft Excel) allowing easy calculation of the T-scores.
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              How many people will need palliative care in 2040? Past trends, future projections and implications for services

              Background Current estimates suggest that approximately 75% of people approaching the end-of-life may benefit from palliative care. The growing numbers of older people and increasing prevalence of chronic illness in many countries mean that more people may benefit from palliative care in the future, but this has not been quantified. The present study aims to estimate future population palliative care need in two high-income countries. Methods We used mortality statistics for England and Wales from 2006 to 2014. Building on previous diagnosis-based approaches, we calculated age- and sex-specific proportions of deaths from defined chronic progressive illnesses to estimate the prevalence of palliative care need in the population. We calculated annual change over the 9-year period. Using explicit assumptions about change in disease prevalence over time, and official mortality forecasts, we modelled palliative care need up to 2040. We also undertook separate projections for dementia, cancer and organ failure. Results By 2040, annual deaths in England and Wales are projected to rise by 25.4% (from 501,424 in 2014 to 628,659). If age- and sex-specific proportions with palliative care needs remain the same as in 2014, the number of people requiring palliative care will grow by 25.0% (from 375,398 to 469,305 people/year). However, if the upward trend observed from 2006 to 2014 continues, the increase will be of 42.4% (161,842 more people/year, total 537,240). In addition, disease-specific projections show that dementia (increase from 59,199 to 219,409 deaths/year by 2040) and cancer (increase from 143,638 to 208,636 deaths by 2040) will be the main drivers of increased need. Conclusions If recent mortality trends continue, 160,000 more people in England and Wales will need palliative care by 2040. Healthcare systems must now start to adapt to the age-related growth in deaths from chronic illness, by focusing on integration and boosting of palliative care across health and social care disciplines. Countries with similar demographic and disease changes will likely experience comparable rises in need. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12916-017-0860-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Thorax
                Thorax
                thoraxjnl
                thorax
                Thorax
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                0040-6376
                1468-3296
                March 2019
                29 November 2018
                : 74
                : 3
                : 270-281
                Affiliations
                [1 ] departmentCicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation , King’s College London , London, UK
                [2 ] departmentSchool of Health Sciences , University of East Anglia , Norwich, UK
                [3 ] departmentDepartment of Oncology , University of Cambridge , Cambridge, UK
                [4 ] departmentNIHR Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit , Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College , Harefield, UK
                [5 ] departmentHarefield Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit , Harefield Hospital , Harefield, UK
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Matthew Maddocks, Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, King’s College London, London SE5 9PJ, UK; matthew.maddocks@ 123456kcl.ac.uk

                LJB and SM are joint first authors.

                Article
                thoraxjnl-2018-211589
                10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-211589
                6467249
                30498004
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100002001, Health Services and Delivery Research Programme;
                Categories
                Respiratory Research
                1506
                2313
                Original article
                Custom metadata
                unlocked

                Surgery

                palliative care

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