CHAFF - Calming Hand And Fan Feasibility trial

This study looks at two options to help relieve breathlessness: a hand-held battery operated fan designed to give cool airflow to the face, and the Calming Hand, a simple breathing strategy that could help reduce anxiety that often occurs with breathlessness.

About the project

Title: CHAFF (Calming Hand And Fan Feasibility trial)
University of Hull PhD scholarship
Time frame: 2012 - 2016: Completed
Publications: ISRCTN registry and Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Contact for more details: Dr Flavia Swan

The purpose of this project is to test the feasibility of a phase III randomised controlled trial evaluating the additional impact of the fan and/or Calming Hand, a thinking strategy when compared to exercise advice alone for the relief of exertion-induced breathlessness due to respiratory conditions.

People with breathlessness were randomly divided into 4 different non-drug treatment groups.

  1. Fan and exercise advice
  2. Calming Hand and exercise advice
  3. Fan and Calming Hand and exercise advice
  4. Exercise advice alone

They performed a walking test to maximal breathlessness and used one of the treatments during recovery and at home for 28 days with activities that made them breathless.

Recovery time was quicker with the fan, but slower with the Calming Hand. Patients said the fan was a useful device that helped support self- management of breathlessness, but the Calming Hand was common sense and not helpful.