Living in a rural area with advanced chronic respiratory illness: a qualitative study

Prim Care Respir J. 2011 Mar;20(1):54-8. doi: 10.4104/pcrj.2010.00062.


Aim: To explore the impact of living with advanced chronic respiratory illness in a rural area

Methods: Using an interpretive descriptive approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven people living with advanced chronic respiratory illness in a rural area of Western Canada.

Results: Themes that characterised the experience of living in a rural setting with a chronic obstructive respiratory illness included: a) distance as a barrier to accessing health care; b) relationships with family practice physicians; c) supportive local community; and d) lack of respiratory education and peer support.

Conclusions: Whilst living with advanced respiratory illness in a rural area posed some significant challenges, experiences of "place", conceptualised as a web of relationships embedded within a local context, are an important factor in rural residents' decisions to remain in situations where distance may present significant challenges to accessing health care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnosis
  • Bronchiectasis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health Services / standards*
  • Rural Health Services / trends
  • Rural Population
  • Sampling Studies
  • Saskatchewan
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Treatment Outcome