Developing an educational intervention on breathlessness in advanced disease for informal carers

Morag Farquhar, Clarissa Penfold, Gail Ewing, John Benson, Sara Booth, Julie Burkin, Sophie Howson, Ravi Mahadeva, David Gilligan, Roberta Lovick, Chris Todd

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Background & aim: The evidence-base for educational interventions to support informal carers and enhance their caregiving capacity is limited. Our aim was to develop an evidence-based educational intervention on breathlessness in advanced disease for carers. Method: Stage 1: Qualitative in-depth interviews with purposive sample of 25 patient-carer dyads from two disease groups (COPD and cancer) to identify educational needs and intervention preferences. Stage 2: One-day multidisciplinary workshop with 13 clinical experts to identify evidence-based content and acceptability and feasibility of potential delivery modes. Stage 3: Two half-day workshops (one COPD and one cancer) with 10 carers and seven patients to review intervention content, format, and language. Qualitative data analysis used a Framework approach. Results: Carers wanted to learn about breathlessness. Six key topics emerged from patient-carer dyad interviews: understanding breathlessness, de-escalating anxiety and panic, keeping active, living positively, managing infections (in COPD), and knowing what to expect in the future. There was wide variation in how carers wanted to learn, but written resources were less popular than face-to-face, group, video and web-based learning. Carers wanted an intervention that drew on both clinical expertise and peer-carer experience. In general, they wanted to learn with the patient. Building on these findings, the clinical expert workshop identified evidence-based content for the six topics and discussed a potential web-based platform to facilitate multiple modes of access e.g. via clinicians, established support groups, or by carers independently. Carer workshops endorsed the need for the intervention, its content and format, and refined its language and presentation style. Conclusion: Developed with carer, patient and clinician expertise this educational intervention on breathlessness has the potential to be highly relevant and acceptable to carers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Event9th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 9 Jun 201611 Jun 2016


Conference9th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care

Cite this