COPD and coping with breathlessness at home: a review of the literature

Br J Community Nurs. 2007 Sep;12(9):411-5. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2007.12.9.27234.


Patients with COPD and their partners often feel isolated while trying to cope with the psychological and physical effects of their condition and the change in their quality of life. Research studies support the fact that some patients with COPD cope better with their breathlessness at home with appropriate community support. This support may be provided by nurses and other health professionals. However, there appears to be an imbalance in the provision of community support/palliative care for COPD patients who have a life-limiting illness compared to other patients with a life limiting illness and a cancer diagnosis. Where 'hospital at home' and support in the community for COPD patients occurs it is provided in many different ways and has been shown to reduce the necessity for acute hospital admissions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Community Health Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Dyspnea* / etiology
  • Dyspnea* / prevention & control
  • Dyspnea* / psychology
  • Family / psychology
  • Health Status
  • Home Care Services
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Palliative Care
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / prevention & control
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / psychology
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology