Breathing problems are very common in people who have heart and lung conditions or some types of cancer. Breathlessness is disabling, frightening and distressing for all concerned. The good news is that there are several interventions (things) that can help, and this specialist Breathlessness Intervention Service (BIS) can help you and your family live more easily with your breathing problems.
Breathlessness is one of the most difficult and one of the most common symptoms of many advanced diseases. It has been called the pain of non-malignant disease because of this. Sadly the difficulties of living with breathlessness are often not recognised, even by very well-informed people, relatives or friends.
It is a very frightening symptom to have to live with and can induce feelings of helplessness or despair. Both the person who suffers from it and those closest to them often become anxious and sometimes depressed and worried by the impact of breathlessness.
There has not been much research in breathlessness and management has not progressed as well as it has for other symptoms such as pain. It is for this reason I set up a research based breathlessness service (BIS) at Addenbrooke’s hospital to help patients living with breathlessness and to learn more about how to improve the care of breathless patients ensuring that patients with breathlessness get all the help they need.
Non-urgent advice: Health professional's - Referring a patient
If you would like to refer to the Breathlessness Intervention Service from outside Addenbrooke’s, please download and complete the referral proforma below and email it to us.
If referring from inside the hospital, please refer via EPIC using code REF388.
Patient support links
Met Office – health
Did you know that cold weather can affect your COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and it can be made worse by viruses that cause coughs and colds. The met office’s healthy outlook service will warn you when conditions are expected that could make your COPD worse, so you can take action to keep it well.
Mindfulness videos - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches mindfulness meditation as a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness.