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Fatigue and Breathlessness are commonly experienced symptoms of advanced illnesses such as cancer and respiratory conditions. In order to address these symptoms and help people and their families learn management strategies, a programme called the Fatigue and Breathlessness Programme, otherwise known as FAB, was created.

The FAB Programme is a 5 week programme which aims to help patients with progressive life limiting illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or renal failure to cope with the symptoms of Fatigue and Breathlessness programme (FAB). This multidisciplinary lead programme uses non pharmacological means to maximise self management of symptoms and improve quality of life. Ideally the programme targets patients in the early stages of their disease.


Criteria for referral:

  • Patients who experience mild to moderate shortness of breath.
  • Patients who experience mild to moderate fatigue.
  • Patients and carers who have the ability to understand the education and advice provided.
  • Patients who are willing and motivated to attend.
  • Patients who are able to travel to and from the Hospice for the 6 week programme.
  • Patients who are able to tolerate and cope with some gentle seated and/or standing exercises.


The FAB team includes:

  • Nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Aromatherapist
  • Social Worker


How can the programme help?

We aim to:

  • Help you understand your symptoms better.
  • Suggest ways to help you manage your symptoms.
  • Give you the opportunity to talk with the team, and other people who are experiencing the same symptoms.


Benefits for the Carers/Family members who attend.

  • Learning techniques to help patients manage symptoms.
  • Chance to meet other carers.
  • One group session to focus on the carer.


What happens next?

When we receive your completed referral form from the Community Palliative Care Team or your Doctor, we will contact you to plan your visit to see if the programme will benefit you. This visit will involve an assessment with one member of the team and will last approximately one hour.


Where and when does the FAB programme take place?

The FAB programme takes place every Thursday from 11am to 1.30pm in the Day Care Unit of Galway Hospice.


What will the programme offer?

The programme offers both group and individual sessions. The weekly themes are:

Week 1 - Meet the team, overview of the programme followed by a talk on Breathlessness - coping strategies and management techniques by the Physiotherapist.

Week 2 - Helpful/unhelpful thinking styles by the Social Worker.

Week 3 - Fatigue Management by the Nurse.

Week 4 - Managing every day and meaningful activities by the Occupational Therapist.

Week 5 - Relaxing - Aromatherapy with guided relaxation by the Aromatherapist.


What do I need to take with me?

  • Loose comfortable clothing and supportive shoes.
  • Any medications you need to take.
  • Any other aid/equipment that you rely on.


For more information on the FAB programme or for a referral form, contact:

Galway Hospice FAB Programme

Day Care Department

Galway Hospice

Dublin Road



Tel: 091 770868

Fax: 091 770806