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      To live a life with COPD – the consequences of symptom burden

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          Abstract

          Background

          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a prevalent illness that, due to its symptoms and treatment, entails a significant burden for the affected person, and his/her family, health care and private finances. Today, knowledge and understanding are sparse regarding COPD-affected persons’ own lived experiences and about the symptom burden and its effect on their daily life. Due to this knowledge gap the aim of this study was to identify and describe the symptom burden and its effect on daily life in people with COPD, based on their own lived experiences.

          Subject and method

          Eleven males and 14 females in GOLD stages III and IV, in an age range of 58–82 years, were interviewed. An interview guide was used to direct the face-to-face interviews. Data was analyzed with thematic analysis following the six steps according to Braun and Clarke.

          Results

          The results highlighted one theme: an altered everyday life. The altered everyday life leads to a need for support to handle everyday life and for different strategies to live as desired. Persons with COPD need to take each day as it comes and their life is not easy to plan since it depends on how they feel from day to day. Life is handled with several strategies such as breathing techniques, and ways to take care of the home and garden as well as the emotions. Support from the next of kin, society and the health care service is important.

          Conclusion

          This study provides the insight that persons with COPD in stages III and IV have an altered life caused by the symptom burden. They must struggle with strategies to handle everyday life. There is a need of support from the next of kin and society to facilitate daily living, but this support needs to be well-balanced.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Observational study to characterise 24-hour COPD symptoms and their relationship with patient-reported outcomes: results from the ASSESS study

          Background Few studies have investigated the 24-hour symptom profile in patients with COPD or how symptoms during the 24-hour day are inter-related. This observational study assessed the prevalence, severity and relationship between night-time, early morning and daytime COPD symptoms and explored the relationship between 24-hour symptoms and other patient-reported outcomes. Methods The study enrolled patients with stable COPD in clinical practice. Baseline night-time, early morning and daytime symptoms (symptom questionnaire), severity of airflow obstruction (FEV1), dyspnoea (modified Medical Research Council Dyspnoea Scale), health status (COPD Assessment Test), anxiety and depression levels (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), sleep quality (COPD and Asthma Sleep Impact Scale) and physical activity level (sedentary, moderately active or active) were recorded. Results The full analysis set included 727 patients: 65.8% male, mean ± standard deviation age 67.2 ± 8.8 years, % predicted FEV1 52.8 ± 20.5%. In each part of the 24-hour day, >60% of patients reported experiencing ≥1 symptom in the week before baseline. Symptoms were more common in the early morning and daytime versus night-time (81.4%, 82.7% and 63.0%, respectively). Symptom severity was comparable for each period assessed. Overall, in the week before baseline, 56.7% of patients had symptoms throughout the whole 24-hour day (3 parts of the day); 79.9% had symptoms in ≥2 parts of the 24-hour day. Symptoms during each part of the day were inter-related, irrespective of disease severity (all p < 0.001). Early morning and daytime symptoms were associated with the severity of airflow obstruction (p < 0.05 for both). Night-time, early morning and daytime symptoms were all associated with worse dyspnoea, health status and sleep quality, and higher anxiety and depression levels (all p < 0.001 versus patients without symptoms in each corresponding period). In each part of the 24-hour day, there was also an association between symptoms and a patient’s physical activity level (p < 0.05 for each period). Conclusions More than half of patients experienced COPD symptoms throughout the whole 24-hour day. There was a significant relationship between night-time, early morning and daytime symptoms. In each period, symptoms were associated with worse patient-reported outcomes, suggesting that improving 24-hour symptoms should be an important consideration in the management of COPD. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12931-014-0122-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            The lived experience of breathlessness and its implications for care: a qualitative comparison in cancer, COPD, heart failure and MND

            Background Breathlessness is one of the core symptoms, particularly persistent and frequent, towards the end of life. There is no evidence of how the experience of breathlessness differs across conditions. This paper compares the experience of breathlessness in cancer, COPD, heart failure and MND, four conditions sharing heavy symptom burdens, poor prognoses, high breathlessness rates and palliative care needs. Methods For this qualitative study a purposive sample of 48 patients was included with a diagnosis of cancer (10), COPD (18), heart failure (10) or MND (10) and experiencing daily problems of breathlessness. Patients were recruited from the respective clinics at the hospital; specialist nurses' ward rounds and consultations, and "Breathe Easy" service users meetings in the community. Data were collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews and participant observation. Breathlessness was compared according to six components derived from explanatory models and symptom schemata, first within groups and then across groups. Frequency counts were conducted to check the qualitative findings. Results All conditions shared the disabling effects of breathlessness. However there were differences between the four conditions, in the specific constraints of the illness and patients' experiences with the health care context and social environment. In cancer, breathlessness signalled the (possible) presence of cancer, and functioned as a reminder of patients' mortality despite the hopes they put in surgery, therapies and new drugs. For COPD patients, breathlessness was perceived as a self-inflicted symptom. Its insidious nature and response from services disaffirmed their experience and gradually led to greater disability in the course of illness. Patients with heart failure perceived breathlessness as a contributing factor to the negative effects of other symptoms. In MND breathlessness meant that the illness was a dangerous threat to patients' lives. COPD and heart failure had similar experiences. Conclusion Integrated palliative care is needed, that makes use of all appropriate therapeutic options, collaborative efforts from health, social care professionals, patients and caregivers, and therapies that acknowledge the dynamic interrelation of the body, mind and spirit.
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              Atrial natriuretic peptide protects against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis via vascular endothelial cells in mice

              Background Pulmonary fibrosis is a life-threatening disease characterized by progressive dyspnea and worsening pulmonary function. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), a heart-derived secretory peptide used clinically in Japan for the treatment of acute heart failure, exerts a wide range of protective effects on various organs, including the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and lungs. Its therapeutic properties are characterized by anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activities mediated by the guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor. We hypothesized that ANP would have anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects on bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Methods Mice were divided into three groups: normal control, BLM with vehicle, and BLM with ANP. ANP (0.5 μg/kg/min via osmotic-pump, subcutaneously) or vehicle administration was started before BLM administration (1 mg/kg) and continued until the mice were sacrificed. At 7 or 21 days after BLM administration, fibrotic changes and infiltration of inflammatory cells in the lungs were assessed based on histological findings and analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In addition, fibrosis and inflammation induced by BLM were evaluated in vascular endothelium-specific GC-A overexpressed mice. Finally, attenuation of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling by ANP was studied using immortalized mouse endothelial cells stably expressing GC-A receptor. Results ANP significantly decreased lung fibrotic area and infiltration of inflammatory cells in lungs after BLM administration. Furthermore, similar effects of ANP were observed in vascular endothelium–specific GC-A overexpressed mice. In cultured mouse endothelial cells, ANP reduced phosphorylation of Smad2 after TGF-β stimulation. Conclusions ANP exerts protective effects on BLM-induced pulmonary fibrosis via vascular endothelial cells.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2019
                29 April 2019
                : 14
                : 905-909
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medical Specialist, Linköping University, Motala, Sweden, helena.johansson@ 123456liu.se
                [2 ]Department of Medical Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, helena.johansson@ 123456liu.se
                [3 ]Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Helena Johansson, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden, Tel +46 1328 6810, Email helena.johansson@ 123456liu.se
                Article
                copd-14-905
                10.2147/COPD.S192280
                6497002
                © 2019 Johansson et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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