Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia W. Underwood

Second Advisor

Louette Lutjens

Third Advisor

Cindy Hull


This study employed a qualitative approach to explore the perceptions of clients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease recalling nursing behaviors as a part of a process of helping during dyspnea. Grounded theory was used to look at how a client's world was constructed in this particular situation. Examination of data led to the generation of a hypothesis to explain the process of helping. Subjects were asked what it was like when they were extremely short of breath and what nursing behaviors helped or didn't help them.; Identified changes were categorized as suffocation, pain, energy depletion, panic, and cognitive haze. Helpful nurses used affective intrapersonal attributes and assistive interpersonal actions to provide care. A process of interpersonal connectedness created security, attachment, and trust in which the cycle of shortness of breath was broken. This information may influence the practice of nurses who participate in COPD clients' care.


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