People living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have to “juggle” daily to maintain a healthy life, according to a study published in Disability and Rehabilitation.


To conduct this study, researchers interviewed eight people (four male, four female) living with COPD, aged 65 to 87 years. The interviews took place at the participants’ homes and pertained to the theme of “juggling to manage everyday life activities with COPD.” Three categories represented in this theme were: consequences of COPD symptoms, adjustment of activities, and contextual aspects.

According to the results, people living with COPD have to juggle the management of everyday life activities, which means making careful choices and prioritizing the necessity of everyday life activities to maintain their health and well-being. The researchers noted that the participants had largely accepted their disease and adjusted to their situation. However, the patients still described living with COPD as frustrating, and they found it hard to focus on making deliberate choices and prioritizing daily life activities.

“Health professionals need to support people living with COPD in making deliberate choices in order to continue participating in valued and engaging everyday life activities as they affect health and well-being,” the researchers concluded. “Pulmonary rehabilitation should focus more on supporting participation in social relations and on using everyday technologies.”

Keywords:  ADL, COPD, activities of daily living, occupational therapy, participation, pulmonary rehabilitation