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Health International

Better Treatments for Refractory Breathlessness

Chronic breathlessness is a distressing and highly prevalent symptom of advanced chronic respiratory diseases. It is associated with social isolation, high healthcare costs and poor prognosis. Currently, there are few effective drug treatments thus, chronic breathlessness represents a huge unmet need.

At the core of the Better Treatments for Refractory Breathlessness project (BETTER-B) is an international, multicentre, randomised controlled trial testing the effectiveness of mirtazapine, an established antidepressant, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial lung disease (ILD).

The BETTER-B programme of work also includes an online survey of physicians to understand current clinical management of breathlessness, the production of European wide guidance on the management of breathlessness in palliative and end of life care, and qualitative interviews with trial participants (patients and caregivers) to further understand their experiences.

Aims

To deliver a step-change in the evidence-based management of breathlessness in palliative and end of life care.

Impact

BETTER-B will provide a wide-reaching impact by translating the trial and research results to produce recommendations, educational materials and clinical improvements for clinicians and policymakers in palliative, supportive, respiratory, primary and end of life care.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal investigators

Irene Higginson

Irene J Higginson

Executive Dean, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care

Investigators

Sabrina Bajwah

Sabrina Bajwah

Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Palliative Care

Nilay Hepgul

Nilay Hepgul

Senior Trial Manager

Adejoke Oluyase

Adejoke Oluyase

Research Associate

Charles Normand csi 200x250

Charles Normand

Professor of Economics of Palliative Care & Rehabilitation

Funding

  • Funding body: European Commission
  • Amount: €3.7million
  • Period: January 2019 - June 2023

Project website

Keywords

  • Palliative
  • Breathlessness
  • Respiratory
  • Mirtazapine
  • Antidepressant
  • International
  • Clinical
  • Trial

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