International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2017 | Month: June | Volume: 7 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 230-241

Experiences of Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Patients’ Perspectives

Kalpana Sharma1; Sarala Joshi2

1PhD Scholar in Nursing, 2Professor in Nursing
Maharajgunj Nursing Campus, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Corresponding Author: Kalpana Sharma


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has a great impact on patients’ daily life which is mostly subjective in nature and it can only be interpreted by the person experiencing it, despite medical attempts to measure or quantify it. The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Chitwan, Nepal.
Methodology: Qualitative phenomenological study design was conducted in Chitwan and a total of 22 patients with COPD were selected purposively for the study. Prior to data collection, ethical clearance was obtained from institutional review board of Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University. In-depth interview was conducted in the participants’ home by using interview guidelines and data was thematically analyzed using the steps outlined in Colaizzi’s method (1978).
Results: Seven themes emerged after thematic analyses and they were: Self-inflicted frightening illness, multiple distressing symptoms, modification in activities, altered family relationship, social isolation and loneliness, financial hardship and emotional trauma. Most of the patients perceived COPD as a self-inflicted disease resulting from their smoking behavior. On multiple symptoms dyspnea and fatigue were most troublesome and leading cause of physical disability and psychosocial problems. Patients were struggling with their mobility especially in climbing upstairs and walking, household activities, and bathing. All patients received support from at least one family member; however, half of them were dissatisfied with their family relationship. In addition, they encountered emotional problems such as symptoms of depression and anxiety. Patients acknowledge the importance of family support, treatment modality and awareness about disease and treatment for their improved health status.
Conclusion: Patients with COPD experience multiple physical and psychosocial problems in their daily life. Therefore, there is need to provide holistic approach for the enhancement of quality of life of patients.

Key words: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Experience, Patients

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