Dr Flavia Swan

PhD, BSc (Hons)

Research Fellow

Role at Hull York Medical School

Research Fellow in cancer rehabilitation currently working with Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR), TRANSFORM Group on a project to design a nutrition and exercise treatment to help improve quality of life for people over 70 years with lung cancer alongside other treatments they may receive.

      Flavia is a research fellow in cancer rehabilitation at the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre. She is currently working on a project to design a nutrition and exercise intervention for older people with lung cancer as part of the YCR TRANSFORM group. She is a Chartered Physiotherapist and clinical specialist in palliative care. Her other main interest is in the role of non-pharmacological interventions for the management of chronic breathlessness. Her PhD research included a systematic review and meta-analysis of medical air for breathlessness, and a mixed methods feasibility study to investigate the handheld fan, the calming hand (a thinking strategy) and simple exercise advice for the management of chronic breathlessness.



  1. “A feasibility, randomised controlled trial of a complex breathlessness intervention in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.” (Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR RfPB) application: funded). £235,376.80
  2. “Breathlessness RElief AT HomE (BREATHE): A feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial to test effectiveness of a paramedic-administered non-pharmacological breathlessness crisis intervention for people with acute-on-chronic breathlessness compared with usual care.” (NIHR RfPB application:funded). £249,899.90
  1. Scholarship and special interest programmes (SSIP)
  2. Year 2 student: teaching and assisting with research project supervision including support with writing a research paper and developing dataset management skills using SPSS.2. Critically Appraised Topic (CAT)
  3. Year 3 and 4 students: tutor marking using Blackboard. Assessor training completed Oct 2017

Bolzani A, Rolser S, Kalies H, Maddocks M, Rehfuess E, Swan F, Gysels M, Higginson I, Booth S, Bausewein B, Respiratory interventions for breathlessness in adults with advanced Diseases [protocol]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 6.

Luckett T PJ, Johnson MJ, Farquhar M, Swan F, Assen T, Bhattarai P, Booth S. . Contributions of a hand-held fan to self-management of chronic breathlessness European Respiratory Journal. 2017, Vol 50 (2).

Swan F, Booth S. The role of airflow for the relief of chronic refractory breathlessness. Current Opinion Supportive Palliative Care. 2015, 9:206-11.

Swan F, Newey A, Bland M, Bausewein C, Booth S, Johnson M, Yorke J, A systematic review and meta-analyses of airflow for the relief of chronic refractory breathlessness in people with advanced cardio-respiratory diseases and mild hypoxaemia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017, Vol 195: A4286

Johnson M, Swan F, Booth S, Currow D, Hart S, Philips J L, The hand-held fan for breathlessness: How do patients use it and does it help? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017, Vol 195: A2685

Honours and awards

HYMS post-graduate research conference, 3 minute PhD thesis presentation prize winner: Airflow systematic review (SR) and meta-analyses, (2015)

HYMS post-graduate award, The Dorothy Robson Prize for Palliative Medicine, (2017)


Key International/national presentaions

  1. Invited workshop facilitator. Palliative care conference,: Acupuncture in palliative care, Scarborough (2013)
  2.  Invited speaker. Associated Chartered Physiotherapists in Oncology & Palliative Care (ACPOPC) conference: Non-pharmacological interventions for chronic breathlessness. Harrogate (2014)
  3. Thematic poster presentation. European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress: Calming Hand and Fan Feasibility (CHAFF) study, Milan (Sept 2017)
  4. Poster. American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Congress : Airflow systematic review (SR) & meta-analyses, Washington D.C. (May 2017)
  5.  Poster discussion session. American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Congress, and poster discussion presentation: The hand-held fan for breathlessness, how do patients use it and does it help? Washington D.C. (May 2017)
  6.  Invited speaker. PHASE meeting: Self-management of chronic breathlessness. Kathmandu, Nepal (July 2018)7. Invited speaker NCRI supportive & palliative care clinical studies group. Cancer Behavioural Nutrition and Exercise Feasibility Trial (CanBenefit) London (Oct 2018)