Advanced Respiratory Disease


Role of palliative care in the management of advanced respiratory disease

People with advanced respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis experience a range of symptoms causing discomfort and distress.  Symptoms include shortness of breath, pain, physical discomfort, fatigue, anxiety and spiritual distress. While medical therapies are important in treating some of these symptoms, it is also important to offer a care approach that will address overall comfort and relief.

In 2008 as part of the Palliative Care for All Programme, Irish Hospice Foundation and the Health Service Executive published a report entitled Palliative Care for All: Integrating Palliative Care into Disease Management Frameworks. The report outlined the rationale and benefits of palliative care for people living and dying with illness such as advanced respiratory disease. A number of disease-specific action research projects were initiated including one on the area of advanced respiratory disease.

Action Research Project: Advanced Respiratory Disease and Palliative Care

Research sites: St. James’s Hospital, Our Lady’s Hospice and the Liberties Primary Care Team (all in Dublin)

The project ran from 2010-12. It aimed to devise, implement and evaluate appropriate palliative care responses for people with advanced respiratory disease using an ‘action research’  methodology. The care responses developed including;

COPD summary report

Respiratory Palliative Care Pathway


Planning for the future with COPD

COPD Support Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation collaborated on the development of booklet titled “Planning for the future with COPD”. The booklet was developed by people with COPD and family carers who took part in a series of workshops. If you or someone you know has just recently been diagnosed with COPD this booklet may not be appropriate to red as a first resource. Other information is available from www.copd.ie  The booklet is available by clicking on this picture.






Other work / Information

The Irish Hospice Foundation in conjunction with the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland developed a discussion paper on end of life care for people with Cystic Fibrosis and it is available here.

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