Dialogue for air, air for dialogue: towards shared responsibilities in COPD practice

Health Care Anal. 2010 Dec;18(4):358-73. doi: 10.1007/s10728-009-0139-7.


For the past several years patients have been expected to play a key role in their recovery. Self management and disease management have reached a hype status. Considering these recent trends what does this mean for the division of responsibilities between doctors and patients? What kind of role should healthcare providers play? With findings based on a qualitative research project of an innovative practice for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) we reflect on these questions. In-depth interviews conducted with people with COPD, physiotherapists and a pulmonologist show that shifting responsibilities require a supportive attitude from healthcare providers and a dialogical communication between patients and professionals. Our findings show more is needed in order to motivate people with COPD to take responsibility and become co-owners in a process of recovery. The case example illustrates that people with COPD need support from fellow patients to learn to accept their disabilities. Awareness that COPD is more than just a lack of air, that mind and body interact, is a first step to investigate other potential problems and to enhance one's quality of life.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Care / methods*