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Dyspnoea at the end of life: instrument development and validation-the CONFORTO Strategy

Abstract

Objective To describe the construction and validation of the algorithm for Criteria for inclusion; Objective of dyspnoea; Notification of patient/family/health professionals; Facial air flow; Oxygen; Relaxion and breathing; Treating causes of dyspnoea and Opioid (CONFORTO), an instrument to guide health professionals in managing dyspnoea in patients with an advance stage of the disease at the end-of-life.

Methods The study was carried out in three stages: (1) literature review and construction of CONFORTO; (2) semantic validation; (3) application of the CONFORTO Strategy to health professionals as a test (before video lessons) and post-test (20 days after watching video lessons) methodology. The scores obtained in the pretest and post-test were compared using the Wilcoxon test.

Results Seventy-four professionals from different internal medicine and intensive care units participated in the study. The CONFORTO Strategy involved eight acronym-forming items: Criteria for inclusion; Objective of dyspnoea; Notification of patient/family/health professionals; Facial air flow; Oxygen; Relaxion and breathing; Treating causes of dyspnoea and Opioid. The post-test indicated a significant increase in the score for the following items: facial air flow (p=0.016); oxygen (p=0.002); relaxation and breathing (p=0.002) and treating the causes of dyspnoea (p=0.011). The increase in score occurred after the training sessions with video lessons.

Conclusion The CONFORTO Strategy proved valid and reliable for managing dyspnoea in patients with an advanced stage of the disease at the end-of-life. Because the instrument is easy-to-use, it can be used by the entire health team at any assistance-providing location, and can, thus, contribute to improving dyspnoea management for these patients.

  • Clinical decisions
  • Dyspnoea
  • Terminal care

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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