Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Engagement in Occupation

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Abstract

The goal of this study was to gain an understanding of participants' experiences with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and their perceptions of an occupational therapy intervention as it related to occupational behaviors. The researcher conducted semistructured interviews with three participants recruited from a pulmonary rehabilitation program in Hong Kong. Using thematic analysis, five themes related to the disease experience were identified: (1) uncertainty during the course of the disease, (2) external attribution, (3) activity restriction and isolation, (4) anxiety and depression, and (5) passive fortitude. Regarding the participants' perceptions of the effects of the occupational therapy intervention on occupation engagement, four themes were identified: (1) increased knowledge of COPD, (2) taking control of the disease and reengagement in activities, (3) alleviation of mental burden, and (4) social support from peers and therapists. The study suggests a temporal framework for better understanding participants' experiences of COPD as well as for developing more appropriate occupational therapy interventions.

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