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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Quality of life after respiratory rehabilitation in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Camp, Patricia G.


Respiratory rehabilitation is directed toward decreasing some of the negative effects of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as shortness of breath, decreased physical tolerance, and coping difficulties. Previous evaluations of respiratory rehabilitation have included quantitative quality of life (QOL) measurement; however, the inclusion of qualitative methods may provide a more comprehensive assessment of QOL. The purpose of this study is to use both quantitative methods (in the form of questionnaires) with qualitative methods (in the form of semi-structured interviews) to evaluate QOL changes in individuals with COPD after respiratory rehabilitation. Twenty-nine individuals with COPD were assessed before and after a five-week Control Phase, and after a five-week Rehabilitation Phase, using spirometry, a generic QOL questionnaire, the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 (SF-36) and a disease-specific questionnaire, the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ). Seven people then participated in a semi-structured interview with questions designed to determine how the participants perceived the Rehabilitation Phase, and the changes they attributed to rehabilitation. Respiratory rehabilitation improved QOL as demonstrated by increases of 22% (p=0.000) and 14% (p=0.00T) in the Physical Function categories of the CRQ and the SF-36, respectively, and by an increase of 10% (p-0.000) in the CRQ's Emotional Function category. These findings were expanded upon and complemented by the qualitative data, which described how acquiring skills and knowledge, gaining control and feeling more energetic, and expanding physical and emotional potential ultimately impacted QOL. In summary, both the generic (SF-36) and the disease-specific (CRQ) questionnaires showed improved physical function but only the disease-specific questionnaire showed improved emotional function. The mixed-methods approach provided information not only on the magnitude of change of QOL, but also provided insight regarding the manner in which QOL is impacted in some individuals with COPD after respiratory rehabilitation.

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