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J R Soc Med. 1987 April; 80(4): 216–218.
PMCID: PMC1290762

Role of the nurse counsellor in managing patients with the hyperventilation syndrome.


A hyperventilation clinic was established specifically to deal with patients referred from the accident and emergency department with the hyperventilation syndrome. This was run by a staff nurse, who counselled the patients and taught abdominal breathing techniques and relaxation. In 30 patients so managed, 63% said their symptoms were much better or had completely gone and in only 6% was there no improvement; 43% had previously had more than one attendance at the A&E department, but following treatment only 2 patients represented during 5 months of follow up. The use of a nurse counsellor seems to be a simple and effective approach to managing these patients and considerably reduces both casualty and outpatient physician time.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Grossman P, de Swart JC. Diagnosis of hyperventilation syndrome on the basis of reported complaints. J Psychosom Res. 1984;28(2):97–104. [PubMed]
  • Oswald I. Drugs for poor sleepers? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986 Mar 15;292(6522):715–715. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Freeman LJ, Nixon PG. Dynamic causes of angina pectoris. Am Heart J. 1985 Nov;110(5):1087–1092. [PubMed]
  • Bass C, Cawley R, Wade C, Ryan KC, Gardner WN, Hutchison DC, Jackson G. Unexplained breathlessness and psychiatric morbidity in patients with normal and abnormal coronary arteries. Lancet. 1983 Mar 19;1(8325):605–609. [PubMed]

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