Effective education enables people to modify the distress and impact of breathlessness by integrating evidence-informed breathlessness-related behaviours (knowledge, skill, attitude) into everyday life. This review considers recent studies of educational approaches focussed on chronic breathlessness as a modifiable, noxious and debilitating multidimensional experience.
Systematic assessments of text-based patient education materials and mobile phone applications specific to breathlessness indicate that while these resources are readily available, issues continue to persist with quality, readability, usefulness and availability of non-English language versions. Various forms of educational interventions for breathlessness have proven feasible and valued by people living with breathlessness and their significant others (uptake/completion, personal benefit, ripple effect on health professionals). Health professional knowledge about the impact of chronic breathlessness and effective management can be altered through structured, educational interventions.
Empiric studies of patient education for breathlessness are scarce despite persistent calls for better breathlessness education for people living with or providing care for someone living with this noxious symptom. In clinical practice, it is highly likely that there are effective and ineffective educational practices, both of which, if publicly disseminated, would inform future educational strategies to advance breathlessness self-management.