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Title: The consequences of chronic respiratory illness : a sociological study.
Author: Williams, Simon Johnson.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2421 6197
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1990
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The Study upon which this thesis is based attempts to offer a sociological perspective on the consequences of chronic respiratory illness. Using the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps [WHO 1980] as a framework, 92 patients suffering from chronic obstructive airways disease (CO.AD: chronic obstructive bronchitis, emphysema and chronic asthma) were interviewed in order to assess the extent of impairment (functional limitation), disability (activity restriction) and handicap (social disadvantage) experienced. A smaller sub-sample of twenty-four of these patients - and where possible their carers - were subsequently followed-up using qualitative, open-ended, interviews, in order to cover in greater detail some of the issues raised within the first-stage of the study. Chapter 1 provides a critical review of the existing psychosocial literature on COAD, chapter 2 discusses of some of the main methodological problems of assessing the consequences of CO.AD, whilst chapter 3 outlines the methods used within the study and the basic sample characteristics. The thesis then goes on to discuss the experience of living and coping with COAD and its symptomatology (chapter 4); medical care and the problems of medical regimens (chapter 5); practical problems of daily life (chapter 6); problems of work and income (chapters 7 & 8), and finally; the more diffuse social consequences of COAD (chapter 9). Patients were found to experience quite severe problems spanning a broad range of areas including: breathlessness and associated COAD symptomatology, psychological distress, disability, practical problems of daily life, problems of work and income, and problems concerning social and family life. Moreover, physiological measures of lung function proved to be fairly poor predictors of disability/quality of life (e.g. - 0.38 p < .001), whilst much higher correlations were found to exist between breathlessness and such measures (e.g.-0.90 p < .001). The thesis concludes by discussing some of the policy implications of the study: particualarly the extent to which a reduction in handicap could bring about a considerable improvement in sufferers quality of life. The need for a more integrated approach to the care and rehabilitation of such patients and their families is also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Disabilities; COAD Sociology Human services Medicine