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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Opioids for the palliation of refractory breathlessness in adults with advanced disease and terminal illness

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2016
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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 (95th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (83rd percentile)

Mentioned by

news
1 news outlet
blogs
1 blog
twitter
71 tweeters
peer_reviews
1 peer review site
facebook
4 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page

Citations

dimensions_citation
175 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
336 Mendeley
Title
Opioids for the palliation of refractory breathlessness in adults with advanced disease and terminal illness
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, March 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011008.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Hayley Barnes, Julie McDonald, Natasha Smallwood, Renée Manser

Abstract

Breathlessness is a common and disabling symptom which affects many people with advanced cardiorespiratory disease and cancer. The most effective treatments are aimed at treating the underlying disease. However, this may not always be possible, and symptomatic treatment is often required in addition to maximal disease-directed therapy. Opioids are increasingly being used to treat breathlessness, although their mechanism of action is still not completely known. A few good sized, high quality trials have been conducted in this area. To determine the effectiveness of opioid drugs in relieving the symptom of breathlessness in people with advanced disease due to malignancy, respiratory or cardiovascular disease, or receiving palliative care for any other disease. We performed searches on CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science up to 19 October 2015. We handsearched review articles, clinical trial registries, and reference lists of retrieved articles. We included randomised double-blind controlled trials that compared the use of any opioid drug against placebo or any other intervention for the relief of breathlessness. The intervention was any opioid, given by any route, in any dose. We imported studies identified by the search into a reference manager database. We retrieved the full-text version of relevant studies, and two review authors independently extracted data. The primary outcome measure was breathlessness and secondary outcome measures included exercise tolerance, oxygen saturations, adverse events, and mortality. We analysed all studies together and also performed subgroup analyses, by route of administration, type of opioid administered, and cause of breathlessness. Where appropriate, we performed meta-analysis. We assessed the evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach and created three 'Summary of findings' tables. We included 26 studies with 526 participants. We assessed the studies as being at high or unclear risk of bias overall. We only included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), although the description of randomisation was incomplete in some included studies. We aimed to include double blind RCTs, but two studies were only single blinded. There was inconsistency in the reporting of outcome measures. We analysed the data using a fixed-effect model, and for some outcomes heterogeneity was high. There was a risk of imprecise results due to the low numbers of participants in the included studies. For these reasons we downgraded the quality of the evidence from high to either low or very low.For the primary outcome of breathlessness, the mean change from baseline dyspnoea score was 0.09 points better in the opioids group compared to the placebo group (ranging from a 0.36 point reduction to a 0.19 point increase) (seven RCTs, 117 participants, very low quality evidence). A lower score indicates an improvement in breathlessness. The mean post-treatment dyspnoea score was 0.28 points better in the opioid group compared to the placebo group (ranging from a 0.5 point reduction to a 0.05 point increase) (11 RCTs, 159 participants, low quality evidence).The evidence for the six-minute walk test (6MWT) was conflicting. The total distance in 6MWT was 28 metres (m) better in the opioids group compared to placebo (ranging from 113 m to 58 m) (one RCT, 11 participants, very low quality evidence). However, the change in baseline was 48 m worse in the opioids group (ranging from 36 m to 60 m) (two RCTs, 26 participants, very low quality evidence).The adverse effects reported included drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, and constipation. In those studies, participants were 4.73 times more likely to experience nausea and vomiting compared to placebo, three times more likely to experience constipation, and 2.86 times more likely to experience drowsiness (nine studies, 162 participants, very low quality evidence).Only four studies assessed quality of life, and none demonstrated any significant change. There is some low quality evidence that shows benefit for the use of oral or parenteral opioids to palliate breathlessness, although the number of included participants was small. We found no evidence to support the use of nebulised opioids. Further research with larger numbers of participants, using standardised protocols and with quality of life measures included, is needed.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 71 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 336 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Colombia 1 <1%
Chile 1 <1%
South Africa 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 331 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 60 18%
Student > Postgraduate 35 10%
Student > Bachelor 33 10%
Researcher 33 10%
Other 30 9%
Other 64 19%
Unknown 81 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 135 40%
Nursing and Health Professions 46 14%
Psychology 17 5%
Social Sciences 9 3%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 2%
Other 30 9%
Unknown 91 27%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 57. 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 19 November 2020.
All research outputs
#496,251
of 18,938,127 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#1,079
of 11,893 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#11,327
of 274,052 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#32
of 191 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 18,938,127 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,893 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% 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 274,052 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 95% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 191 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 83% of its contemporaries.