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Chronic respiratory diseases strongly influence major life-changing decisions

Bhatti, Zaheer Uddin, Finlay, Andrew Yule, Salek, Sam, Ketchell, Ian and Bolton, Charlotte Emma 2009. Chronic respiratory diseases strongly influence major life-changing decisions. Thorax 64 (Supp.4) , A113. 10.1136/thx.2009.127159m

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Introduction Major life-changing decisions (MLCD) are influenced by chronic skin conditions,1 but the effect of other chronic conditions such as respiratory disease has been less explored. We studied the influence of cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on MLCD. Methods Survey packs were posted or given at outpatient appointments to adult patients who had CF (n=100) or COPD (n=100) for more than 1 year. Patients were asked to write down any ways in which their long-term disease had influenced their MLCD. Qualitative software Nvivo 8 was used for detailed data analysis. Different life-changing decisions were grouped into core decisions. Results Of the 200, 110 (55%) survey forms were returned (CF=61, COPD=49). Of these, 91 patients (58% male, mean age: CF=27 years (range 18–53), COPD=65 years (range 53–84)) reported the impact of their chronic condition on MLCD. 81 patients (CF=50, COPD=31) reported there was an influence on at least 1 MLCD (range 1–9), 10 patients (CF=3, COPD=7) reported no influence, 17 patients (CF=8, COPD=9) declined to take part and 2 patients had died (COPD). MLCD affected by CF and COPD were job (n=39), having children (n=36), career (n=31), early retirement (n=32), education (n=24), relationships (n=19), moving abroad (n=15), change of profession (n=10), separation (n=9), moving to another house (n=9), marriage (n=6), buying a house (n=4) and moving to another city (n=4). Decisions related to holidays (n=21) and life style change (n=4) were also regarded by patients as life changing. The most prevalent influential factors of the condition for both CF and COPD are shown in table 1. Conclusions This study demonstrates that respiratory conditions such as CF and COPD influence MLCD which impact on patients’ lives significantly over time. Appropriate and timely advice and support may help patients to cope better with long-term illnesses. In parallel, greater understanding by clinicians might enhance health outcomes. Targeted help at an early stage may improve patients’ future health and lives.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 0040-6376
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 13:02

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