Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Their Beliefs About Measures That Increase Activity Tolerance

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This article describes an exploratory study whose purpose was to examine the impact of attitudes and beliefs on the intentions of adult patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to engage in endeavors that enhance activity tolerance. A convenience sample of 32 patients was interviewed using a semistructured format. Personal, normative, and control beliefs about endeavors that are thought to increase activity tolerance were explored. Using Ethnograph, a software package designed for content analysis of qualitative data (Seidel, Kjolseth, & Seymour, 1988), the researcher analyzed the interview content to identify recurrent themes. The notion of control seemed to be a major influence on the intention to engage in measures thought to increase activity tolerance. These issues should be explored further with patients who have COPD to help them make more effective decisions about their care.

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