Quarterly scientific journal

The exploration of spirituality in caregivers of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A qualitative analysis

Efthymios Tzounis , Τheodora Kerenidi , Chryssi Hatzoglou , Zoe Daniil , Evangelia Kotrotsiou

Abstract

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the primary causes of death for thousands of adults dying annually. The informal caregivers are those who offer unpaid help to or supervise individuals with impairment(s). Considering that most patients and caregivers are burdened with the disease’s aggravation, direction towards a complete provision in regards with COPD would help them perceive the power of the holistic approach that focuses on spiritual provision. Aim: The specific qualitative research was conducted in order to investigate perceptions of Greek caregivers of COPD patients in relation to spirituality, its influence on their lives, as well as the assessment of their experiences in regards with their spiritual needs throughout care-giving. Materials and Method: A total of 46 caregivers of COPD patients participated in this qualitative research. Data were collected through structured interviews. Results: 10 (21.7%) of the 46 participants were men and 36 (78.3%) of them were women; 44 of the total amount were first-degree relatives with the patients. This research shows that, apart from any kind of emotional needs, there are deeply spiritual needs, since the caregivers “struggle” with their faith and their ability to believe in God or a supreme being. Conclusion: Despite the positive side of the informal provision, an official research that aligns with the physiology of the disease and indicates the important influence of spirituality and religiosity on caregivers of COPD patients has not been conducted in Greece up until now

Keywords: Spirituality, religiosity, caregivers, COPD, qualitative research

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