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Impacts of COPD on family carers and supportive interventions: a narrative review

Caring for a relative with chronic disease influences multiple dimensions of family carers' lives. This study aimed to provide an overview of the impacts of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD) on family carers and identify interventions aimed at supporting them. A narrative review was conducted. Searches were performed in electronic databases using a combination of keywords. Articles were screened for relevance and selected articles were analysed in two groups considering the study aims. Eighteen articles were selected. Fifteen studies evaluated the impacts of COPD on family carers and three studies presented interventions aimed at supporting them. Carers reported negative impacts of caring on physical health, emotional, social, relational and financial/employment life dimensions. Positive aspects of care-giving were reported in four studies and were related to carers' personal growth and satisfaction in being able to do something useful for their relatives. The existing interventions were directed at both patients and carers; however, studies provided limited information on how carers were involved, hindering the interpretation of findings. In conclusion, COPD poses several unique challenges to family carers related to the specificities of the disease. Further research with appropriate intervention studies is needed to promote carers' healthy adjustment to the disease. 

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Journal article
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Health & Social Care in the Community
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