Mindful breathing reduces dyspnea in lung cancer, COPD, asthma

  • Tan SB & al.
  • J Pain Symptom Manage
  • 23 Jan 2019

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • A single 20-minute mindful breathing exercise session significantly reduced dyspnea in patients with lung cancer, COPD, and asthma when combined with standard care compared with standard care alone.

Why this matters

  • Dyspnea has been reported in the majority of patients with lung cancer, COPD, and acute asthma. It can cause extended hospital stays and diminished QoL.

Study design

  • Parallel-group, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial.
  • 64 patients with lung cancer (50.8%), COPD (25.4%), or asthma (23.8%) received either standard care plus a 20-minute mindful breathing lesson (n=32) or standard care alone (n=31).
  • Funding: Ministry of Education Malaysia.

Key results

  • Adding mindful breathing to standard care significantly improved dyspnea at minute 5 (65.6% vs 12.9%; OR, 12.9; P<.001 and minute vs or p=".002).</li">
  • At 20 minutes, the mindful breathing group experienced significantly improved respiratory rate (59.4% vs 32.4%; OR, 3.1; P=.031), but improvements in oxygen saturation failed to gain statistical significance (37.5% vs 16.1%; OR, 3.1; P=.056).
  • Patients with asthma demonstrated the greatest improvement in dyspnea with mindful breathing, followed by those with lung cancer and COPD.

Limitations

  • Single-center study.