About the project

Title: Fan Facial Airflow Recovery from Exercise Patient Trial (FANFARE–P)
Funder: Impact Acceleration Fund, University of Hull
Time frame: Ongoing
Contact for more details: Dr Flavia Swan

Non-drug treatments such as cool airflow from the handheld fan (fan) can help patients manage persistent breathlessness, including giving a faster recovery from shortness of breath after activity.

However, we do not know the optimal fan airflow rate for recovery from breathlessness.

The study aims to identify the optimal fan airflow rate for recovery from breathlessness after an exercise test in people with chronic breathlessness and which fan/airflow speed is preferred.

Patient participants will complete 7 short bouts of exercise to induce breathlessness. During each recovery period we will randomly test two different fan types (blades enclosed and blades open), with five airflow settings and one control (no airflow).

We will measure heart rate, oxygen levels, and ask how breathless the participant feels during recovery.

We will also take a skin temperature “photo-map” of the participant’s face and ask participants to tell us about their fan and flow-rate preferences.

We will use the results from this study, and a companion healthy participant study (Fanfare –H), to help design a fan with the optimal airflow speed for recovery from shortness of breath after exercise.


10 participants were recruited (1 withdrawn, and 1 excluded). 8 participants were included in the data analysis. Facial airflow from a fan improved exertion-induced breathlessness recovery and reduced facial skin temperature compared with control. A fan speed of 4.91 m/s had the greatest cooling effect, but not the quickest recovery and participants stated they found this speed unpleasant. The proposed optimal fan airflow speed for breathlessness management is 2.85 m/s. 


Poster presentation European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) congress Rotterdam June 2023.

Abstract published Palliative Medicine Volume 37 Issue 1 supplement, June 2023