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Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease experienced ongoing challenges of preserving their personal integrity

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Question How do patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience the changes in their ability to perform day to day activities?




Pulmonary outpatient clinic in southeastern USA.


12 English speaking patients (mean age 67 y, 50% men) with moderate to severe emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma with underlying chronic airways obstruction, or COPD. Patients of varying sociodemographic backgrounds were recruited using purposive sampling.


Unstructured, tape recorded interviews that lasted 30–60 minutes each were conducted in a private room in the clinic. Patients were asked to describe a typical day and were then encouraged to self direct the content of the interview. Audiotapes were transcribed, checked for accuracy, and analysed based on Colaizzi's phenomenological method and the consensus …

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  • Source of funding: National Institutes of Health.

  • For correspondence: N K Leidy, Center for Health Outcomes Research, MEDTAP International Inc, 7101 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Fax +1 301 654 9864.