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The experience of hospitalization in people with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A qualitative, phenomenological study

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Chronic Illness
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)339-353
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date4/02/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Objectives People with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are frequently hospitalized, reporting high physical, psychological and spiritual suffering. Existing research focused on discrete aspects of hospitalization, such as care or treatment, yet lacks a complete picture of the phenomenon. The aim of this study is to understand the lived experience of hospitalization in people with advanced COPD. Methods A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological approach was employed to study the phenomenon of hospitalization for people with advanced COPD. Unstructured interviews were conducted during hospitalization at a tertiary care hospital in India, in 2017, audio-recorded, and then transcribed. Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological analysis method guided the analysis. Results Fifteen people with advanced COPD participated. Emergency admissions were common because of acute breathlessness, leading to repeated hospitalizations. Hospitalization gave a sense of safety but, despite this, people preferred to avoid hospitalization. Care influenced trust in hospitalization and both shaped the experience of hospitalization. Multi-dimensional suffering was central to the experience and was described across physical, psychological and spiritual domains. Discussion Hospitalization was identified largely as a negative experience due to the perception of continued suffering. Integrating palliative care into the routine care of people with advanced COPD may enable improvements in care.