Background: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the world. COPD is a progressive disease that could lead to chronic hypoxemia, which requires treatment as domiciliary Long-Term Oxygen Therapy (LTOT). There is a need for increased knowledge about self-care strategies used by individuals living with COPD and LTOT. Objective: The aim was to explore experiences and self-care strategies in patients living with both COPD and LTOT. Sample: The sample consisted of five men and five women diagnosed with COPD being prescribed LTOT for more than one year. Method: Ten interviews were undertaken and analyzed for both manifest and latent content. Results: Living with COPD and LTOT was associated with experiences of guilt although there were doubts about what had caused the lung disease. Both the lung disease and the oxygen therapy had a negative impact on their self-image. Anxiety was expressed when thoughts about the remaining time occurred. There was a constant balance between diminishing abilities and increasing restrictions related to the lung disease and the therapy. In order to compensate for arising imbalance, self-care strategies had been initiated aimed at preserving the present state of health, enabling and facilitating physical activity and promoting a positive attitude. Conclusion: The current study suggests that individuals living with COPD and LTOT are encouraged to adopt self-care strategies directed towards maintaining stability with regard to the lung disease, the oxygen therapy, physical capability and emotional reactions.
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