How do informal self-care strategies evolve among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease managed in primary care? A qualitative study

Lindsay D. Apps, Samantha L. Harrison, Johanna E.A. Williams, Nicky Hudson, Michael Steiner, Mike D. Morgan, Sally J. Singh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)
    18 Downloads (Pure)

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)257-263
    JournalInternational Journal of COPD
    Volume9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2014

    Bibliographical note

    This publication is an open access journal and is freely available on the Dove Press website at: http://www.dovepress.com/how-do-informal-self-care-strategies-evolve-among-patients-with-chroni-peer-reviewed-article-COPD
    This has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License

    Keywords

    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • self-care
    • qualitative interviews
    • primary care

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