'Feelings of guilt due to self-inflicted disease': a grounded theory of suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

J Health Psychol. 2010 Apr;15(3):456-66. doi: 10.1177/1359105309353646.


The aim of this grounded theory study was to illuminate the main concern of people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how they handle their everyday life. Data were collected through interviews with 23 people with COPD at different stages, from mild to severe. A substantive theory was generated showing that the main concern was feelings of guilt due to self-inflicted disease associated with smoking habits. This core category was related to five managing strategies termed making sense of existence, adjusting to bodily restrictions, surrendering to fate, making excuses for the smoking-related cause and creating compliance with daily medication.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Guilt*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / etiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Sweden