The experience of men who were managing symptoms of COPD
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experience of middle-aged men who were managing symptoms of COPD. A longitudinal design with non-probability sampling was used. Participants were recruited through local health-care agencies. Data were obtained through three in-depth interviews with each of 8 men, aged 45 to 65 years, who lived with one or more family members and had been diagnosed with moderate (Stage II) COPD for at least one year. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed. Data pertaining to the participants' perceptions, actions, and intentions were analyzed using Porter's descriptive phenomenological method. Three-level taxonomies were created to describe the personal-social context of the experience (element, descriptor, and feature) and the experience (intention, component phenomenon, and phenomenon). The three contextual features were: (a) living with my physical limitations, (b) having a hard time breathing, and (d) living with a slow progressive disease. The three phenomena were: (a) adjusting to my limits in life, (b) dealing with my breathing problems, and (c) keeping my life stable with COPD. Findings led to new insights about how middle-aged men experience symptoms of COPD and develop skills to manage symptoms. Findings suggested new self-management interventions for pulmonary rehabilitation and for nursing.
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