Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Donna Larson

Second Advisor

William Bell

Third Advisor

Steve Merrill


This study replicated a pilot study, conducted by Lynn Dapice in 1985, to clinically validate nursing diagnoses developed by the American Thoracic Society Group and Nursing Diagnosis Classification Group. The purpose of this current study was to broaden the body of knowledge regarding nursing diagnoses associated with the medical diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).; A retrospective descriptive study was conducted using Dapice's tool adapted to suit this study. Data from 25 charts of hospitalized COPD clients were analyzed using percentages and t-test; the results showed no significant difference between the two studies, with the exception of the age range of the subjects. Seventy-six nursing diagnoses and 480 defining characteristics were documented. It was found that 103 of the defining characteristics supported fourteen nursing diagnoses; however, there were two nursing diagnoses that lacked documentation of supporting defining characteristics. The study also found that documentation of nursing process was very limited in the clinical area.


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