The Breathing, Thinking, Functioning clinical model: a proposal to facilitate evidence-based breathlessness management in chronic respiratory disease.
Refractory breathlessness is a highly prevalent and distressing symptom in advanced chronic respiratory disease. Its intensity is not reliably predicted by the severity of lung pathology, with unhelpful emotions and behaviours inadvertently exacerbating and perpetuating the problem. Improved symptom management is possible if clinicians choose appropriate non-pharmacological approaches, but these require engagement and commitment from both patients and clinicians. The Breathing Thinking Functioning clinical model is a proposal, developed from current evidence, that has the potential to facilitate effective symptom control, by providing a rationale and focus for treatment.