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Br J Health Psychol. 2003 Sep;8(Pt 3):251-70.

Quality of life, distress and self-esteem: a focus group study of people with chronic bronchitis.

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School for Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, UK.


Chronic bronchitis (a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality resulting in around 5% of deaths in the UK. Over recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on patient-based evaluation of health and social care, which has led to a rapid growth in quality of life measures and an increase in measuring quality of life for COPD patients. However, less attention has been paid to patients' perceptions and experiences of everyday life, specifically their active engagement in the psychological, emotional and social aspects of adjustment and adaptation to living with chronic bronchitis. This study employs a series of four focus groups (N = 20) to identify key experiences of living with chronic bronchitis. The results, obtained through using both thematic and conceptual qualitative analysis, within a broadly symbolic interactionist framework, describe the subjective and sometimes contradictory ways in which the disease leads to psychological distress, dependency on medication, and disruption to social and family relationships, and has a negative impact on self-esteem. The study further argues for greater awareness of qualitative approaches to the broad view of quality of life as complementary to quality of life assessments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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