Does understanding words used by the breathless COPD patient enhance therapeutic care?

Shortness of breath, dyspnea and breathlessness are collective terms to describe the awareness of inadequate gas exchange within the respiratory system.Varying mechanisms, behavioural and physiological changes are caused by this ventilation-perfusion mismatch. This complex sensation encompasses manydiverse concepts.The spectrum of language and words used as a consequence of this sensation varies from quality and intensity to emotions and feelings. Matching the phrases to the cause supports understanding.Current studies reviewed produced clusters of verbal descriptors which reflect the multi-dimensional input as a consequence of being out of breath. Using these clusters has produced a comprehensive list of twelve words known as ‘The Dyspnea 12’ which when used, quantifies the severity of this debilitating and extremely distressing symptom.Could these verbal descriptors be used to aid the assessment and treatment of their cause in service users and provide a more holistic view to a widespread problem?

Subscribe to get full access to the Journal of Paramedic Practice

Thank you for vising the Journal of Paramedic Practice and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the only journal dedicated to those working in emergency care, you can start your subscription today for just £48.

CPD Focus

Reading the Journal of Paramedic Practice counts towards your professional development

Develop your career

We provide professional information dedicated to paramedics covering training, education and jobs

Stay informed

Get the latest clinical information to ensure you are aware of the latest think and best practice in paramedicne

Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with Journal of Paramedic Practice!

Sign up to Journal of Paramedic Practice’s regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.