Margaret Campbell, PhD, RN, FPCN

Margaret Campbell, PhD, RN, FPCN

Professor (Research)

344 Cohn

Office hours

 By appointment.

Margaret Campbell, PhD, RN, FPCN

Program of Research title

Dyspnea Assessment and Treatment at the End of Life

Destination Statement

My research is focused on assessment and treatment of dyspnea, or respiratory distress, in terminally ill patients. Dyspnea is one of the worst symptoms dying patients may experience. I am committed to easing this burdensome symptom.

Populations of interests

  • Adults
  • Terminally ill
  • Near death
  • Cognitively impaired

Program of Research

Margaret L. Campbell Ph.D., RN, FPCN has focused her research on assessing and treating dyspnea among patients nearing the end of life across clinical settings including the ICU, acute care settings, and home hospice. She developed the Respiratory Distress Observation Scale, the only known instrument to assess respiratory distress when the patient cannot self-report dyspnea. This clinical and research tool is in wide clinical use in more than 50 US sites and 11 countries and has been translated into Dutch, French, Chinese, Italian, Greek, and Tamil (India).

Dr. Campbell is a recognized leader and scholar in care at the end of life. She is widely published on the topics of dyspnea assessment and treatment.


  • Diploma - Henry Ford Hospital, School of Nursing
  • BSN - Wayne State University
  • MSN - Wayne State University
  • PhD (Nursing) - University of Michigan

Research Interests

  • Dyspnea
  • Symptom Management at the end of life

Clinical Area(s) of Expertise

Adult Palliative Care

Selected Publications

Chapters in the last 5 years

Campbell, M.L. (2019). Withdrawal of invasive mechanical ventilation. In B.R. Ferrell and J.A. Paice (editors). Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing. Oxford University Press, New York, 5th edition, 371-375.

Campbell, M.L. & Stellini, M.A. (2015). "Dyspnea: Management in seriously ill hospitalized patients." In S. Pantilat, W. Anderson, M. Gonzales, and E. Widera (editors), Hospital-based palliative medicine: A practical, evidence-based approach. Ames, IA: Wiley Blackwell Publishers, 37-48.

Campbell, M.L. & Gorman, L. (2015). Withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies: mechanical ventilation, dialysis and cardiac devices. In B.R. Ferrell, N. Coyle and J. Paice (editors), Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing. 4th edition, New York, Oxford University Press.

Journal Articles (*Data-based) in the last 5 years

Campbell, M.L. (2019). "Responding to hyoscine butylbromide to manage death rattle: sooner rather than later". Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 57(1): e14-e15.

*Campbell, M.L. and McErlane, L. (2018). "Feasibility of a study to test the effectiveness of a dyspnea assessment and treatment bundle to improve family caregiving of patients in home hospice". Journal of Palliative Medicine, 21 (11): 1547.

Campbell, M.L. (2018). Ensuring breathing comfort at the end of life:  The integral role of the critical care nurse. American Journal of Critical Care, 27: 264-269.

 Campbell, ML. (2019). "Assuaging listener distress from death rattle". Annals of Palliative Medicine, 8 (suppl1): S58-S60.

*Campbell, M.L., Kiernan, J., Strandmark, J. and Yarandi, H.N. (2018). "Trajectory of dyspnea and respiratory distress among patients in the last month of life". Journal of Palliative Medicine; 21(2):194-199.

*Chan, Y.H., Wu, H.S., Yen, C.C. and Campbell, M.L. (2018). Psychometric evaluation of the Chinese Respiratory Distress Observation Scale with critically ill patients with cardiopulmonary disease. Journal of Nursing Research, 44: 340-347.

Campbell, M.L. (2017). "Dyspnea". Critical Care Clinics of North America; 29(4):461-470.

Joshwa, B. and Campbell, M.L. (2017). Fatigue in patients with chronic kidney disease: Evaluation and measures. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 44: 337-343.

*Campbell, M.L., Templin, T. & Kero, K. (2017). "Mild, moderate, and severe intensity cut-points for the Respiratory Distress Observation Scale." Heart & Lung, 46:14-17.

*Campbell, M.L., Mendez, M. & Yarandi, H.N. (2015). "A two-group trial of a terminal ventilator withdrawal algorithm: pilot testing." Journal of Palliative Medicine, 18:781-785.

*Campbell, M.L. & Templin, T.N. (2015). "Intensity cut points for the Respiratory Distress Observation Scale (RDOS)." Palliative Medicine, 29:436-442.

Campbell, M.L. (2015). "Caring for dying patients in the intensive care unit: Managing pain, dyspnea, anxiety, delirium, and death rattle." AACN Advanced Critical Care, 26:110-120.

Nelson, J.E., Mathews, K.S., Weissman, D.E., Brasel, K.J., Campbell, M., Curtis, J.R., Frontera, J.A., Gabriel, M., Hays, R.M. et al. (2015). "Integration of palliative care in the context of rapid response: a report from the improving palliative care in the ICU advisory board." Chest, 147: 560-569.

Boss, R., Nelson, J., Weissman, D., Campbell, M., Curtis, R., Frontera, J., Gabriel, M., Lustbader, D., Mosenthal, A., Mulkerin, C., Puntillo, K., Ray, D., Bassett, R., Brasel, K., & Hays, R. (2014). "Integrating palliative care into the PICU: A report from the Improving Palliative Care in the ICU Advisory Board." Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 15: 762-767.

*Campbell, M.L., & Templin, T.N. (2014). "RDOS-Family: A guided learning tool for lay-person assessment of respiratory distress." Journal of Palliative Medicine, 17(9): 982-983.

Kavanaugh, K.L. & Campbell, M.L. (2014). "Conducting end-of-life research: Strategies for success." Nursing Science Quarterly, 27(1):14-19.

Puntillo, K., Nelson, J.E., Weissman, D., Curtis, R., Weiss, S., Frontera, J., Gabriel, M., Hays, R., Lustbader, D., Mosenthal, A., Mulkerin, C., Ray, D., Bassett, R., Boss, R., Brasel, K. & Campbell, M. (2014). "Palliative care in the ICU: Relief of pain, dyspnea, and thirst: A report from the IPAL-ICU Advisory Board." Intensive Care Medicine, 40: 235-248.


Honors and Awards

Last 5 years:

2019 Distinguished Contribution to Research, Midwest Nursing Research Society

2018  Distinguished Nurse Researcher, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

2018  Distinguished Nurse Researcher, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

2017  Distinguished Researcher Award, Midwest Nursing Research Society-Pain and Symptom Management Research Interest Group



Current Research

An algorithmic approach to ventilator withdrawal at the end of life. National Institute of Nursing Research R01 funding.

Courses Taught

  • Independent Directed Study
  • D.N.P. CIP committee
  • Ph.D. Dissertation committee

← Return to listing