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Heart Lung. 1990 Mar;19(2):186-91.

Dyspnea during hospitalizations for acute phase of illness as recalled by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


With use of a qualitative research approach, a study was conducted to explore the phenomenon of dyspnea from the point of view of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. During a nonacute phase of their illness, 96 adults with chronic bronchitis or emphysema were asked in semistructured interviews to recall their feelings associated with sensations of shortness of breath during hospitalizations for the acute phase. Through content analysis, accounts of different subjects were compared, and several themes were isolated that dominated the dyspneic experience. The themes were fear, helplessness, loss of vitality, preoccupation, and legitimacy. Each theme was expanded by integrating accounts of dyspnea previously reported in the literature with the field study data. Substantiated descriptions of the five themes are presented to sensitize nurses to patients' perceptions of dyspnea and nursing behaviors during hospitalization for the acute phase of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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