Resilience in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Heart Failure

Background: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) place a significant burden on individuals and health care systems. Selfmanagement has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of these conditions and improving quality of life. Resilient behavior has been suggested as underpinning the ability to self-manage well. This review sought to assess the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase resilience in people with COPD and/or CHF.

Method: This literature review used MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsychArticles and PsychINFO databases to identify published studies. References listed were also appraised. Articles were eligible for inclusion if they met pre-set criteria. No studies were found so the secondary objective of a narrative review was implemented.

Results: Four studies were included in the narrative review. Three themes emerged; interventions that may increase resilience and self-management, resilience as a predictor of effective self-care and self-management in patients living with long term conditions including COPD and the role resilience plays in relation to the physical and psychological impact of living with CHF.

Conclusion: There are few published studies on resilience and COPD or CHF. This review suggests the evidence base for resilience enhancing interventions is limited as published studies lacked methodological quality for level II evidence. From this narrative review a link between psychological distress, resilience and the likelihood of positive engagement with self-management in patients with COPD and/or CHF appears evident. There is a need for further methodologically sound research to determine the relationship between resilience and COPD and CHF and to examine the effectiveness of interventions to improve resilience in patients with these conditions.


Liz Evans, Derek Bell, Sheree M S Smith

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