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Evidence-Based Practice
Open Access Article

Putting Evidence Into Practice®: Evidence-Based Interventions for Cancer-Related Dyspnea

Wendye M. DiSalvo
Margaret M. Joyce
Leslie B. Tyson
Ann E. Culkin
Kathleen Mackay
CJON 2008, 12(2), 341-352 DOI: 10.1188/08.CJON.341-352

Despite the common occurrence of cancer-related dyspnea, a paucity of literature is available for review, especially research literature that reports interventions to control dyspnea. The Oncology Nursing Society's Putting Evidence Into Practice® (PEP) initiative organized a team on nurses to examine the literature, rank the evidence, summarize the findings, and make recommendations for nursing practice to improve patient outcomes. Pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic agents have been used to treat dyspnea. Patients who received parenteral or oral immediate-release opioids demonstrated a benefit in the reduction of breathlessness; thus, parenteral or oral opioids are recommended for practice. Five interventions are listed in the effectiveness not established category and include extended-release morphine, midazolam plus morphine, nebulized opioids, the use of gas mixtures, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This article critically examines the evidence, provides nurses with the best evidence for practice, and identifies gaps in the literature and opportunities for further research.