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'A balancing act'. Living with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Southern New Zealand: a qualitative study

Tumilty, Emma, Doolan-Noble, Fiona, Latu, Anna Tiatia Fa'atoese, McAuley, Kathryn, Dummer, Jack, Baxter, Jo, Hannah, Debbie, Donlevy, Simon and Stokes, Tim 2020, 'A balancing act'. Living with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Southern New Zealand: a qualitative study, Journal of primary health care, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 166-172, doi: 10.1071/HC20007.

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Title 'A balancing act'. Living with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Southern New Zealand: a qualitative study
Author(s) Tumilty, EmmaORCID iD for Tumilty, Emma orcid.org/0000-0002-4132-6467
Doolan-Noble, Fiona
Latu, Anna Tiatia Fa'atoese
McAuley, Kathryn
Dummer, Jack
Baxter, Jo
Hannah, Debbie
Donlevy, Simon
Stokes, Tim
Journal name Journal of primary health care
Volume number 12
Issue number 2
Start page 166
End page 172
Total pages 7
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Clayton, Vic.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 1172-6164
1172-6156
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Primary Health Care
General & Internal Medicine
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
qualitative research
Summary ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common chronic condition managed in primary care.AIM To understand how patients with severe COPD living in the Southern Health Region (Otago and Southland) experience and cope with the condition. METHODS Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 23 patients with severe COPD (defined using the 2013 GOLD classification). A thematic analysis was conducted. RESULTS Patients’ accounts of living with severe COPD revealed four themes: loss, adaptation, isolation and social support. All participants discussed their sense of loss in coming to terms with having COPD and the ongoing restrictions or changes that were associated with breathlessness and fatigue. These losses required adaptation in daily living. Some patients struggled to adjust to new limitations and needed to rely on others for support. Others found ways to adapt their surroundings or ways of doing things while trying to maintain the same activities. Isolation was described in two ways – direct (no longer being able to easily socialize because activities often caused breathlessness) and indirect (the feeling of being isolated from others because they do not understand what it is like to live with COPD). Social support, including support provided by group-based pulmonary rehabilitation, helped to address the problems of social isolation. DISCUSSION Living with severe COPD is a ‘balancing act’ between insecurity (loss and isolation) and resilience (adaptation and social support). Health-care providers need to be proactive in identifying and managing patients’ unmet health needs and promote activities that reduce social isolation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/HC20007
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1110 Nursing
1117 Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30138795

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Medicine
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.