Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Mary T. Verklan
Many patients are affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive lung disease that obstructs air flow, resulting in dyspnea and inability to carry out daily activities. Despite optimal pharmacological management, COPD patients make frequent emergency room visits and are hospitalized due to exacerbations of COPD. Literature has suggested that pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), a nonpharmacological treatment, could help to decrease the symptoms that lead to illness exacerbation, hospital readmissions, and decreased quality of life in patients with COPD. The purpose of the project was to increase the quality of life and reduce admission rates for patients diagnosed with COPD through the development and implementation of patient education material that would increase PR awareness, increase patient motivation, and promote participation. The ACE star model was used to guide the project development, and the theoretical framework of the health belief model was used to enhance patients' perceptions and desires to participate in a PR program. Evaluation of the pretests and posttests revealed significant improvement in various variables, reduction of dyspnea, improved exercise tolerance, and increased knowledge. The evaluation of health-related quality of life using the short form 36 showed significant improvement in some subscales namely: general health, role emotional, with slight significance in bodily pain. There were no readmissions among the participants. The implementation of comprehensive PR has implications for positive social change because it helps patients with COPD to be more knowledgeable about their disease and allows for more independence and a higher quality of life.