"The Hidden Client"--women caring for husbands with COPD: their experience of quality of life

J Clin Nurs. 2002 Sep;11(5):613-21. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.2002.00651.x.


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experience of quality of life of women, taking care of husbands with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Unstructured, in-depth, tape-recorded personal interviews were used to collect data from six women living with husbands with COPD. The women ranged from 47 to 69 years in age and their husbands had given up work because of the illness. The wives in the study were dissatisfied with their lack of recreation, as well as support from friends, families and health care providers. Factors that increased the wife's quality of life were children and grandchildren and being able to please the husband and care for him until the very end.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Home Nursing / psychology
  • Humans
  • Iceland
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / nursing*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / psychology*