Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This presentation is part of : Chronic Illness Strategies
Care Needs of Community-Dwelling Seniors Suffering from Advanced COPD
Donna M. Wilson, RN, PhD, Faculty of Nursing, Edmonton, AB, Canada and Carolyn Ross, RN, PhD, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
Learning Objective #1: gain an orientation to the significance of COPD as a chronic health condition that necessitates a wide range and continuum of primarily community-based services, and
Learning Objective #2: relate the importance of gradually increasing daily supports, and rapid attention to emerging health problems for persons living with advanced COPD.

Despite many palliative care advancements, the end-of-life care needs of persons with advanced COPD are not well understood. The purpose of this 2006 qualitative investigation was to determine the care needs, through their voices, of seniors living in the community with advanced COPD. Advanced COPD is understood as the time when affected persons are continuously symptomatic following an exacerbation that necessitated inpatient hospital care, with these symptoms having a considerable effect on the ability to live normally, and with death considered likely within 12 months. This presentation focuses on the information gained through a series of three interviews with 13 key informants over a span of 6 months. Interviews were taped and transcribed, with data coded and then categorized, with findings from the previous round of interviews advancing each subsequent round of interviews – all of which were oriented to answering two research questions: “What are the care needs and care priorities of persons with advanced COPD?” and “What is the most helpful care received by persons with advanced COPD?” One of the most important findings was their continuing attempts to maintain normal life, with family and/or friends and also formal support services becoming more important to this daily struggle. Rapid medical attention and support to gain this attention in cases of acute exacerbations and other emerging or evident health problems were also critical to their health and wellbeing, as were gradually increasing daily supports to continue everyday life. This study provides concrete information on the care needs of persons with advanced COPD as determined from a personal or client perspective, information to assist in planning and providing the best ways to assist these people as they live out their lives. Investigation funded by the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing Opportunity Fund.