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Int J Older People Nurs. 2009 Dec;4(4):299-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2009.00185.x. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Hope: a construct central to living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Author information

1
Sessional Tutor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Nathan, Brisbane, Qld, AustraliaDeputy Director, Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Qld, AustraliaDeputy Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

  Hope plays an integral role in health and illness and may assist individuals to cope in difficult and adverse circumstances, for instance when living with an illness such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which can demand continuous adaptation.

AIM:

  This paper reports the meaning of hope in people living with COPD as described by seven participants involved in a home-based pulmonary maintenance program.

METHODS:

  Using an interpretive phenomenological approach a purposive sample of seven participants were interviewed to understand participants' experiences of the phenomena of hope. An interpretative description is provided.

RESULTS:

  Thematic analysis revealed a number of themes, including that hope persists despite chronic illness and the unpredictable dilemmas of living with COPD. Many benefits were found to be gained from involvement in a home-based pulmonary maintenance program, including increasing exercise capacity, hope and wellbeing.

CONCLUSION:

  Despite the limitations imposed by living with COPD participants revealed a determination to live as normal a life as possible. The pulmonary maintenance program was pivotal in assisting participants to improve exercise capacity, hope and wellbeing. Nurses may have a role to play in helping people with COPD maintain or regain hope.

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