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Breath Training Exercise for the Reduction of Chronic Dyspnea

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Identifier:
First received: April 8, 2013
Last updated: June 6, 2016
Last verified: June 2016

The purpose of this study is to test whether a breath training exercise program may be used to make patients with chronic lung conditions feel less short of breath, whether such a program is well received by patients and whether a future larger study is worthwhile.

The breath training exercise program uses some breathing techniques derived from Yoga practices. They were shown to help patients experiencing shortness of breath feel less short of breath in other settings. Whether the training is beneficial to patients with chronic lung conditions, especially those with a history of cancer affecting their lungs, is not clear. This study would help us answer that question.

Condition Intervention
Chronic Pulmonary Disorder
Other: breathing techniques
Behavioral: Self-Administered Baseline and Transition Dyspnea Indexes

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: Breath Training Exercise for the Reduction of Chronic Dyspnea: a Pilot Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • the feasibility [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
    of a breath training program Feasibility is defined by the combination of acceptance rate (number of patients agreeing to participate divided by total number of offered participation), completion rate (percentage of patients completing 75% of practice sessions and providing data on the SAC-BDI/TDI at baseline and 6 weeks) and estimated effect size (20% improvement in SAC-BDI).

Estimated Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: March 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: The breath training program
Approximately 30-minutes of group instruction session on breathing techniques delivered at a Main Campus outpatient clinic, followed by approximately 15 minutes twice daily home practice for six weeks with weekly telephone coaching. The intervention will conclude at about week 6. Patients will be encouraged to continue the practice, but there will be no further phone calls to remind patients or to confirm their continuing practice.
Other: breathing techniques

During all practice sessions, patients are seated in a chair, where they are guided through a set routine of various breathing techniques (detailed in Appendix A). No yoga poses are involved. There is no demand on the patient's physical condition and no risk of injury. The breath training program, with patients seated throughout, includes:

- an initial teaching session (approximately 30-minute) at main campus by an MSKCC Integrative Medicine Service yoga-breathing instructor; - twice daily,breathing exercises (each approximately 15-minute) for 6 weeks practiced by patients at home with supplied recorded audio instructions; - and weekly follow-up phone calls by research staff (+/- 3 days from day 7 of each week) to identify and manage problems and to determine compliance.

Behavioral: Self-Administered Baseline and Transition Dyspnea Indexes
Patients are asked to complete baseline SAC-BDI/TDI questionnaires at the pulmonary clinic. Patients will return to the pulmonary clinic at about week 6 for SAC-BDI/TDI and tests, and to return the diary recording their home exercises. Resting and post-6MWT pulse oximetry, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) will be evaluated as well.


Ages Eligible for Study:   19 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • >18 years of age
  • Diagnosis of a chronic pulmonary disorder (a diagnosis of lung cancer is not required as the symptom of dyspnea, not cancer itself, is targeted)
  • If diagnosed with lung cancer, must have completed definitive treatment more than 6 months prior
  • At least moderate dyspnea defined by a BDI score of 6 or less in the Self- Administered Computerized Versions of the Baseline and Transition Dyspnea Indexes(SAC-BDI/TDI)13,14 (This cutoff score is close to the score of 5.7 used to define "moderate dyspnea" in the publication that validated the instrument and is selected by attending physicians in the Pulmonary Service as a good indication of "moderate dyspnea" in clinical practice. A typical person with BDI of 6, for example, would be a 52 year old woman who has to pause when walking because of dyspnea and/or has eliminated doing an activity because of dyspnea).
  • Able to safely complete the Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT)15 as per attending physician's clinical judgment.
  • Respiratory functions clinically stable for the preceding 3 months and expected to be stable for the next 3 months as determined by project PIs and other Pulmonary Medicine faculty.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Life expectancy less than 6 months
  • Any cause of dyspnea that is determined by the investigators as readily reversible by other means (e.g. pleural effusion, pulmonary embolism, acute infection, anemia Hb<9.0, etc.)
  • Non-English speaking
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01831388

United States, New York
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
New York, New York, United States, 10065
Sponsors and Collaborators
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Principal Investigator: Gary Deng, MD, PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Identifier: NCT01831388     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 12-261
Study First Received: April 8, 2013
Last Updated: June 6, 2016

Keywords provided by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:
Breath Training Exercise

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Diseases
Respiration Disorders
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Signs and Symptoms, Respiratory
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on April 28, 2017