Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients' Experiences of an Enhanced Self-Management Model of Care

Qual Health Res. 2016 Mar;26(4):568-77. doi: 10.1177/1049732315573013. Epub 2015 Feb 24.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is debilitating and costly. Self-management is championed to empower individuals to better manage their condition and also to efficiently utilize health resources. As a multi-disciplinary team, we conducted focus group research with individuals living with COPD who were participating in a longitudinal study to use an electronic "diary" to monitor, record, and transmit their own health status, plus receiving regular nurse visits. The main aims of the focus groups were to investigate how far individuals embraced the electronic diary and experienced it as an aid to the self-management of their condition. We also looked at the importance of the nurse visits to the process. Thematic analysis revealed that patients responded positively to the use of technology (the electronic diary), including psychological benefits of perceived support offered by the remote symptom surveillance. Findings also showed patients' increased awareness and monitoring of personal symptoms together with an improved understanding of disease self-management. Nurse support emerged as an important "human" factor in the process. In addition, a reduction in hospital admission was observed, thus reducing costs to the health service.

Keywords: health care, access to; health care, long term; illness and disease, chronic; qualitative analysis; self-care; technology, medical.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't