↓ Skip to main content

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in advanced malignant and non-malignant diseases in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2016
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (84th percentile)

Mentioned by

blogs
1 blog
twitter
62 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page
wikipedia
2 Wikipedia pages

Citations

dimensions_citation
150 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
443 Mendeley
Title
Benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in advanced malignant and non-malignant diseases in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd007354.pub3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Steffen T Simon, Irene J Higginson, Sara Booth, Richard Harding, Vera Weingärtner, Claudia Bausewein

Abstract

This is an updated version of the original Cochrane review published in Issue 1, 2010, on 'Benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in advanced malignant and non-malignant diseases in adults'. Breathlessness is one of the most common symptoms experienced in the advanced stages of malignant and non-malignant disease. Benzodiazepines are widely used for the relief of breathlessness in advanced diseases and are regularly recommended in the literature. At the time of the previously published Cochrane review, there was no evidence for a beneficial effect of benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in people with advanced cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The primary objective of this review was to determine the efficacy of benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in people with advanced disease. Secondary objectives were to determine the efficacy of different benzodiazepines, different doses of benzodiazepines, different routes of application, adverse effects of benzodiazepines, and the efficacy in different disease groups. This is an update of a review published in 2010. We searched 14 electronic databases up to September 2009 for the original review. We checked the reference lists of all relevant studies, key textbooks, reviews, and websites. For the update, we searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and EMBASE and registers of clinical trials for further ongoing or unpublished studies, up to August 2016. We contacted study investigators and experts in the field of palliative care asking for further studies, unpublished data, or study details when necessary. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) assessing the effect of benzodiazepines compared with placebo or active control in relieving breathlessness in people with advanced stages of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure (CHF), motor neurone disease (MND), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Two review authors independently assessed identified titles and abstracts. Three review authors independently performed assessment of all potentially relevant studies (full text), data extraction, and assessment of methodological quality. We carried out meta-analysis where appropriate. Overall, we identified eight studies for inclusion: seven in the previous review and an additional study for this update. We also identified two studies awaiting classification in this update. The studies were small (a maximum number of 101 participants) and comprised data from a total of 214 participants with advanced cancer or COPD, which we analysed. There was only one study of low risk of bias. Most of the studies had an unclear risk of bias due to lack of information on random sequence generation, concealment, and attrition. Analysis of all studies did not show a beneficial effect of benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness (the primary outcome) in people with advanced cancer and COPD (8 studies, 214 participants) compared to placebo, midazolam, morphine, or promethazine. Furthermore, we observed no statistically significant effect in the prevention of episodic breathlessness (breakthrough dyspnoea) in people with cancer (after 48 hours: risk ratio of 0.76 (95% CI 0.53 to 1.09; 2 studies, 108 participants)) compared to morphine. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated no statistically significant differences regarding type of benzodiazepine, dose, route and frequency of delivery, duration of treatment, or type of control. Benzodiazepines caused statistically significantly more adverse events, particularly drowsiness and somnolence, when compared to placebo (risk difference 0.74 (95% CI 0.37, 1.11); 3 studies, 38 participants). In contrast, two studies reported that morphine caused more adverse events than midazolam (RD -0.18 (95% CI -0.31, -0.04); 194 participants). Since the last version of this review, we have identified one new study for inclusion, but the conclusions remain unchanged. There is no evidence for or against benzodiazepines for the relief of breathlessness in people with advanced cancer and COPD. Benzodiazepines caused more drowsiness as an adverse effect compared to placebo, but less compared to morphine. Benzodiazepines may be considered as a second- or third-line treatment, when opioids and non-pharmacological measures have failed to control breathlessness. There is a need for well-conducted and adequately powered studies.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 62 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 443 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 441 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 58 13%
Student > Bachelor 55 12%
Researcher 42 9%
Other 40 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 28 6%
Other 76 17%
Unknown 144 33%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 165 37%
Nursing and Health Professions 53 12%
Psychology 12 3%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 12 3%
Social Sciences 8 2%
Other 40 9%
Unknown 153 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 47. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 September 2021.
All research outputs
#717,915
of 21,986,946 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,527
of 12,161 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#16,488
of 316,839 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#27
of 165 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,986,946 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,161 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 29.8. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 316,839 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 165 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its contemporaries.