Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients’ Symptomatic Experiences
Keywords:symptomatic experiences, dyspnea, fatigue, insomnia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients
Objective: To examine the five most common symptoms found in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients: dyspnea, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Design: Descriptive research
Methodology: The participants were 168 COPD patients treated at the COPD Clinic
of the Central Chest Institute of Thailand. The data-collecting instruments were: 1) a demographicrecording form; 2) the Dyspnea, Fatigue, and Insomnia Assessment Scale (DFIAS); and 3) the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The majority of the participants (98.2%) were male aged averagely 71.48
years (SD = 8.71). Moderately severe COPD was detected in 39.3% of the participants. Dyspnea, fatigue, and insomnia were perceived by 100%, 91.7%, and 58.9% of the participants, respectively. Mild dyspnea frequency, moderate dyspnea severity, and mild dyspnea distress were perceived by 63.7%, 48.8%, and 63.1% of the participants, respectively. Overall, 79.2%, 50%, and 79.2% of the participants perceived low degrees of fatigue frequency, severity, and distress, respectively, whilst 44%, 38.1%, and 45.2% confirmed their perception of low degrees of insomnia frequency, severity, and distress. Anxiety and depression, however,
were found in only 0.6% of the participants.
Recommendations: This study reflected the importance of conducting dyspnea, fatigue, and insomnia assessment in COPD patients. Nursing care approaches based on empirical evidence are, therefore, advised to provide pharmaco-therapeutic and non-pharmaco-therapeutic support to help COPD patients to effectively manage their symptoms.
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