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Scand J Caring Sci. 2014 Jun;28(2):373-80. doi: 10.1111/scs.12068. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

'It's about me'--a narrative analysis of female smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and their relationship to smoking.

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  • 1Närhälsan Mellerud, Mellerud, Sweden.



Chronic obstructive lung disease is a disease that is common among the smoking population. In Sweden, more women than men are smokers. The most effective treatment to improve the symptoms of COPD is to quit smoking but still many women continue to smoke, despite their illness.


The aim of this study was to describe how a group of smoking women with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) experienced their everyday life and their relationship to smoking.


A qualitative study based on narratives from six women with COPD was conducted. The narratives focused on the women's everyday life and their relationship to smoking. The interviews were analysed into four themes and a new story, based on these themes were constructed.


The new story describes a woman with COPD that knows what she must do but cannot find the power within herself to take action. She talks about herself like a young bird that is going fly for the first time.


The study indicates that these women need some form of individual help to find the inner strength that they lack. Their self-respect as well as their self-image needs to be boosted in order to strengthen their belief that they are going to cope without the cigarette.

© 2013 Nordic College of Caring Science.


COPD; encounter; lifeworld; narrative analysis; nursing; self-image; self-respect

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