A conceptual framework for understanding speaking dyspnea

Robert W. Lansing, Jeannette D. Hoit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: A conceptual framework is proposed to better understand the experience of people who have dyspnea (breathing discomfort) when speaking: its nature, its physiological mechanisms, and its impacts on their lives. Method: The components of the framework are presented in their natural order. They are a Speaking Domain (Speaking Activities and Speaking Variables), a Physiological Domain (Speech Breathing Variables and Physiological Mechanisms), a Perceptual Domain (Dyspnea), a Symptom Impact Domain (Emotional Responses, Immediate Behavioral Responses, and Long-Term Behavioral Response), and a Life Impact Domain (Short-Term Impacts and Long-Term Impacts). Results: We discuss literature that most directly supports these components and includes findings from healthy people and those with disorders in whom speaking dyspnea was either evoked or measured. Caveats are noted where information is limited and further study is needed. A case example is provided to illustrate how to apply the framework. Conclusions: This framework provides a broader view of the elements that contribute to the experience of speaking dyspnea. It is meant to guide researchers, clinicians, instructors, caregivers, and those for whom speaking dyspnea is a daily or even a life-long challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-851
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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