Helping to improve care for breathlessness

improve care for breathlessness
Disease or condition

Study description/purpose
Breathlessness and its associated diseases such as asthma, lung disease, heart failure and obesity are experienced by one in ten Australians. Shortness of breath impacts personal health, social participation and quality of life. It can be a major barrier for people staying in the workforce as they age. Much of this can be addressed if the cause of breathlessness is determined and appropriate treatment commenced early. The aim of this project is to develop a clinical pathway for the assessment and management of breathlessness in primary care, based on established evidence and the goal of improving care for these patients in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Improving assessment and management of breathlessness in primary care will help identify the causes of breathlessness early on in order to help people with breathlessness receive optimal treatment efficiently, reducing medical waste and improving their symptoms and quality of life.

The research questions/hypotheses that this study seeks to address are:

  1. What is the current real-world practice of managing breathlessness in primary care?
  2. Which clinical assessments of breathlessness should be included in a clinical algorithm for primary care?
  3. What evidence is available for inclusion in guidance for managing the causes of breathlessness identified through an algorithm designed for primary care?
  4. What digital infrastructure and training will be required to implement BREATHE, a decision support system for primary care?

Recruitment criteria

Adults aged 18+
Have experienced breathlessness and present for longer than two weeks or are caring for someone with breathlessness.
Have consulted a GP at least twice in the past 12 months.

What’s involved

Participants will join focus groups and interviews by the researchers and will be done virtually. A suitable time for participants will be organised between October-December 2021. Sessions will last for about 1.5 – 2 hours.

Benefits (gift cards, etc)
Upon completion of interview, participants will be provided with a Coles-Myer gift voucher.

Study sponsor/funder
The George Institute

Research team contacts
Dr Anthony Sunjaya

Email: [email protected]