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Junior research at the Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences (KL)

Thursday, 19 May, 2022 - 09:00

Medical decisions on diagnosis and treatment of dyspnea in palliative care

KL graduate Magdalene Heim was able to publish her first research work in the journal „Supportive Care in Cancer“ with support of Dr. Gudrun Kreye form Krems University Hospital. Together with senior physician Dr. Klaus Hackner she investigated the selection of diagnosis and treatment options of acute respiratory distress in patients with advanced lung cancer.

More than 100 physicians at University Hospital Krems were confronted with the case description of a patient suffering from dyspnea in the stage of terminal lung cancer. The physicians were asked to select diagnostic and therapeutic options from a questionnaire. Oxygen and beta-mimetics were preffered to opioids, although the latter is considered as golden standard for treatment. The responses of residents and senior physicians differed significantly, especially in the choice of diagnostic methodology.

The study highlights the importance of ongoing education of physicians on the adequate treatment of refractory dyspnoea in lung cancer patients to ensures their highest possible quality of life. The discussion of case studies between doctors with different education levels can improve diagnostic and therapeutic decision making. 


Hackner, K., et al. (2022). "Evaluation of diagnostic and treatment approaches to acute dyspnea in a palliative care setting among medical doctors with different educational levels." Supportive care in cancer: official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer


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