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Title: How do informal self-care strategies evolve among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease managed in primary care? A qualitative study
Authors: Steiner, Michael Charles
First Published: 26-Feb-2014
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Citation: International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 2014, 9(1), pp. 257-263
Abstract: Background: There is much description in the literature of how patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) manage their breathlessness and engage in self-care activities; however, little of this is from the perspective of those with less severe disease, who are primarily managed in primary care. This study aimed to understand the self-care experiences of patients with COPD who are primarily managed in primary care, and to examine the challenges of engaging in such behaviors. Methods: Semistructured interviews were carried out with 15 patients with COPD as part of a larger project evaluating a self-management intervention. Thematic analysis was supported by NVivo software (version 8, QSR International, Melbourne, Australia). Results: Three main themes are described, ie, experiencing and understanding symptoms of COPD, current self-care activities, and the importance of family perceptions in managing COPD. Conclusion: Self-care activities evolved spontaneously as participants experienced symptoms of COPD. However, there was a lack of awareness about whether these strategies would impact upon symptoms. Perceptions of COPD by family members posed a challenge to self-care for some participants. Health care professionals should elicit patients' prior disease experiences and utilize spontaneous attempts at disease management in future self-management. These findings have implications for promoting self-management and enhancing quality of life.
DOI Link: 10.2147/COPD.S52691
ISSN: 1176-9106
eISSN: 1178-2005
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2014 Apps et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Permissions beyond the scope of the License are administered by Dove Medical Press Limited. Information on how to request permission may be found at:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

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