Clinical Academic Training

Palliative Medicine

To explore the potential of cranial electrotherapy stimulation in anxiety related to breathlessness of advanced lung disease

  • Christina Faull
  • Mick Steiner

Breathlessness is a distressing hallmark of advanced lung disease and patients frequently also have high levels of anxiety, usually addressed with medications, behavioural and psychological interventions.

Cranial electrotherapy stimulation is an established form of non-invasive low alternating current neuromodulation treatment and is available as a small portable device for patients to use daily at home. NICE conducted a review of Alpha- Stim for patients with anxiety disorders and recognised the potential of Alpha Stim in anxiety disorders, but more research is required before its routine adoption can be supported.  Most of the research has been undertaken with patients with general anxiety disorder and very little has been undertaken with patients with anxiety related to a physical problem such as breathlessness.

We want to explore the acceptability (what do patients think about it), feasibility (can we do research with this device and with this group of patients, what problems arise) and  effectiveness (what difference does it make) of this novel treatment in patients with advanced lung disease, initially for those referred to palliative care services.

The project will involve being part of a team at LOROS Hospice working with patient and public advisors (PPI),  recruiting patients, collecting  and analysing quantitative and qualitative data, presenting findings and developing further research questions and designing future projects including PhD application.

Medical Education

If you are interested in progressing an educational research project within the speciality please visit the medical education project page


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