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Routine Dyspnea Assessment on Unit Admission

Baker, Kathy MSN, RN; Barsamian, Jennifer MSN, RN; Leone, Danielle MSN, RN; Donovan, Barbara C. MSN, RN; Williams, Donna MS, RN, CCRN; Carnevale, Kerry MS, RN; Lansing, Robert PhD; Banzett, Robert PhD

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: November 2013 - Volume 113 - Issue 11 - p 42–49
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000437112.43059.a0
Feature Articles

Overview: Dyspnea assessment is valuable in diagnosis, prognosis, symptom management, and targeted intervention, and in the allotment and management of patient care resources. The assessment of dyspnea, like that of pain, depends on patient self-report. Expert consensus panels have called for dyspnea to be measured quantitatively and documented on a routine basis, as is the practice with pain. But little information is available on how to measure and record dyspnea ratings systematically. Consequently, the prevalence of dyspnea in hospital settings may be greater than is generally recognized, and dyspnea may be insufficiently managed. This article describes a pilot study that sought to test the feasibility of measuring dyspnea as part of the initial patient assessment performed by nurses within several inpatient units of a large urban hospital.

A nurse-led pilot study sought to test the feasibility of measuring dyspnea as part of the initial patient assessment performed by nurses in a large urban hospital.

Kathy Baker and Barbara C. Donovan are clinical nurse specialists in medicine, Jennifer Barsamian and Kerry Carnevale are clinical nurse specialists in surgery, Danielle Leone is a clinical nurse II, and Donna Williams is a clinical nurse specialist in cardiology, all at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston. Robert Lansing is a visiting scientist in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at BIDMC and a professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Robert Banzett is an associate professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Harvard Medical School and BIDMC. Both Lansing and Banzett are supported by unrestricted educational National Institute of Health grants NR10006 and NR12009 to investigate the affective component of dyspnea and a novel dyspnea treatment. Robert Banzett is principal investigator in this endeavor. Contact author: Kathy Baker, kbaker2@bidmc.harvard.edu. The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.