Invisible suffering: breathlessness in and beyond the clinic

In Life of Breath’s first publication, senior investigators, Havi Carel and Jane Macnaughton, and respiratory clinician James Dodd outline the rationale for the project.

We have all experienced breathlessness at some point, whether through illness or exertion. Breathlessness is subjective, a very personal experience. This makes it hard to quantify so doctors typically focus on treating the underlying cause of breathlessness rather than the symptom itself. As a result, treatments for breathlessness are limited, symptoms are under-reported and doctors and patients can feel powerless.

To better understand the experience and cultural significance of breathing and breathlessness, Life of Breath will bring together a multi-disciplinary team drawn from clinical science, philosophy, anthropology, literature, art and history. The team’s research will address the lived experience of breathing in both health and illness in the hope of finding interventions which can benefit respiratory patients.

Read the full article here…

Carel H, Macnaughton J, Dodd J (2015) ‘Invisible suffering: breathlessness in and beyond the clinic.’ The Lancet Respiratory Medicine,(4):278-9. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00115-0

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