Cognitive and Behavioral intervention for the Management of Episodic Breathlessness in patients with advanced disease: a single-arm therapeutic exploratory trial (phase II) – CoBeMEB
Project leader: Assistant Professor Steffen Simon
Contact person: Anja Bergmann, Yvonne Eisenmann, Berenike Pauli, Anne Pralong, Karlotta Schlösser
Duration: 09/2017 – 08/2020
Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Episodic breathlessness is a common and distressing symptom in patients with advanced disease such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure. Since the short duration of the majority of breathless episodes limits the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions (e.g. opioids), non-pharmacological management strategies play a major role. As non-pharmacological strategies, patients use, for example, cognitive and behavioural methods such as breathing or relaxation techniques.
The aim of the study is to test a brief cognitive and behavioural intervention for an improved management of episodic breathlessness. Initially, a Delphi procedure with international experts is used to develop the brief intervention consisting of various non-pharmacological strategies to enhance the management of breathless episodes.
In the single-arm therapeutic exploratory trial (phase II), the feasibility and potential effects of the brief intervention, such as patient-reported breathlessness mastery, episodic breathlessness characteristics, quality of life, symptom burden, caregivers’ burden, and breathlessness in general will be examined. The results of the study form the basis for the planning and implementation of a subsequent confirmatory randomized control trial (phase III).