Relieving from Breathlessness in the Wind: A Meta-Analysis and Subjective Report of Effectiveness of Fan Blowing in Patients with Cardiorespiratory Diseases or Cancer

Jing Jing Tsai, Kee Hsin Chen, Hui Fen Fang, Tsai Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Breathlessness is common among terminally ill patients with cardiorespiratory disease or cancer. The experience may induce secondary physiological and behavioral responses that limit patient well-being and independence and cause emotional distress. Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the effectiveness of fan blowing on breathlessness among patients with cardiorespiratory diseases or cancer. The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, SCOPUS, and CINAHL databases were searched to retrieve potential articles. The primary outcome was breathlessness severity. The secondary outcomes were SpO2, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. Also, we presented the changes of vital signs and subjective feeling of a male patient who used fan blowing for relieving his breathlessness. Results: Eight RCTs were available for analysis. The pooled results demonstrated no significant difference in breathlessness severity between fan-to-face blowing and control methods (standard mean difference: −0.21, 95% confidence interval: −.59 to.17); however, a significant reduction in breathlessness severity was observed in the short-time intervention compared with long-time intervention. A trend occurred toward significance in the reduction of respiratory rate in fan-to-face blowing compared with control methods (MD: −.64, 95% CI: −1.37 to.09). No differences were observed between groups in oxygen saturation, anxiety, depression, or QoL. The male patient who used fan blowing showed an improved vital signs and a satisfied subjective feeling. Conclusions: Consistent short-time fan-to-face blowing is effective for relieving breathlessness among conscious terminally ill patients with cardiorespiratory diseases or cancer. The use of this convenient method for relieving breathlessness symptoms in terminally ill patients is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • breathlessness
  • cancer
  • cardiorespiratory
  • fan blowing
  • hospice
  • respiratory rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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