Self-Care of People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Meta-Synthesis

Self-Care of People with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Meta-Synthesis

2.16.1 - I care about myself


Self-care in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can improve health-related quality of life, reduce hospital admissions and decrease dyspnoea.


This review aimed to systematically identify, evaluate and synthesise the qualitative literature on the self-care behaviours and strategies used by people with COPD.


The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) meta-aggregative method was followed. An electronic search of six relevant databases was conducted. The search was limited to articles published from January 1996 to January 2016. Reference lists of all identified articles were searched to find additional literature. Two independent reviewers analysed the studies against the inclusion criteria, extracted the data and assessed the methodological quality of the 14 identified papers using the JBI qualitative assessment and review critical appraisal instrument. Findings were synthesised using a meta-aggregation process.


Four synthesised findings emerged from the aggregation of 114 findings: self-care is directed towards the prevention, control and management of the physical consequences of COPD; self-care focuses on the management of the psychological effects of COPD; self-care is aimed at reducing the impact of COPD on social life; and self-care is influenced by contact with healthcare services and requires the acquisition of knowledge and skills.


This meta-synthesis provides evidence on the self-care behaviours and strategies that people with COPD perform to prevent, control and manage the physical, psychological and social consequences of the disease. The findings of this meta-synthesis could help healthcare professionals to tailor self-care educational programmes to the experiences, preferences and priorities of people with COPD.


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