Nonpharmacological interventions for managing respiratory symptoms in lung cancer

Janelle Yorke, Alison Brettle, Alexandros Molasiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with lung cancer experience significant symptom burden, particularly symptoms of a respiratory nature. Such symptom burden can be distressing for patients and negatively impact their functional status and quality of life. The aim of this review is to evaluate studies of nonpharmacological and noninvasive interventions for the management of respiratory symptoms experienced by patients with lung cancer. In total, 13 studies met the inclusion criteria for this review and included 1383 participants of which 1296 were lung cancer patients. The most frequently assessed and reported symptom was breathlessness (n = 9 studies). Cough and haemoptysis were reported in one study. A variety of outcome measurement tools were used and a broad range of intervention strategies evaluated. Lack of consistency between studies impinged on the ability to combine studies. It is not possible to draw any firm conclusion as to the effectiveness of nonpharmacological interventions for the management of respiratory symptoms in lung cancer. Nonpharmacological interventions may well have an important role to play in the management of some of the respiratory symptoms (or combinations of respiratory symptoms), but more work of higher quality is necessary in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • breathlessness
  • complementary therapies
  • cough
  • Lung cancer
  • nonpharmacological interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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