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J Palliat Care. 2008 Spring;24(1):49-54.

Advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: impact on informal caregivers.

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Graduate Studies Department, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Patients with advanced COPD experience significant functional decline and often incapacitating dyspnea towards the terminal stages. Their families may also experience a parallel decline in psychological and physical functioning, and informal caregivers are often the "invisible victims" of this progressive and incurable disease. As we move toward new and more comprehensive models of care for patients, these models should embrace the needs of those who witness and suffer from the relentless struggle of patients to cope with worsening dyspnea, and the broad range of associated fears and anxieties that are so prevalent in the advanced stages of COPD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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