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‘The Hidden Client’– women caring for husbands with COPD: their experience of quality of life


  • Dóróthea Bergs MSN, RN

    1. Project Manager in Nursing, Central Hospital Akureyri, Iceland and Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Iceland, Iceland
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Dóróthea Bergs, Central Hospital Akureyri, Iceland (e-mail:


• The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experience of quality of life of women, taking care of husbands with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

• Unstructured, in-depth, tape-recorded personal interviews were used to collect data from six women living with husbands with COPD.

• The women ranged from 47 to 69 years in age and their husbands had given up work because of the illness.

• The wives in the study were dissatisfied with their lack of recreation, as well as support from friends, families and health care providers.

• Factors that increased the wife's quality of life were children andgrandchildren and being able to please the husband and care for him until the very end.