The symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can be particularly challenging, and often distressing, for patients to cope with and can have a huge impact on people’s daily lives. Breathlessness can cause people to panic and to feel frustrated or worried. Self-care is important to prevent exacerbations and improve quality of life. Often, this means making lifestyle changes, particularly with regard to exercise and becoming smoke-free, as well as taking steps to avoid colds and ‘flu. For many people, this is very difficult to do. Anxiety and low mood can be barriers to self-care and making lifestyle changes can be challenging.
Health psychologists can help people with COPD to understand how to overcome the barriers, and build their confidence in managing their own health.