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Given that IPF is more common among men than women, the overwhelming majority of ICs were women.Despite using convenience sampling, the patient-loved ones of ICs comprised a group of patients with IPF that spanned the spectrum of disease duration and severity.Results 14 ICs included in this study experienced several hardships throughout the course of their loved ones’ illness, from emotional devastation at the time of diagnosis to living with an ‘impatient,’ ‘cranky’ loved one and being forced to exist in a ‘smaller world’ because of the physical limitations IPF imposed on their partners.The threat of patients needing supplemental oxygen was central to creating angst among patients and ICs, and supplemental oxygen use by patients prohibited them and their ICs from living the ‘normal’, carefree lives they desired.
In the words of one, “Once he was diagnosed, I think my whole body just quivered for like two months.
Additionally, given their proximity to patients—a vantage point allowing them to view patients’ change over time—ICs’ perspectives were expected to allow a fuller understanding of the changing effects of IPF on patients.
We used convenience sampling to recruit ICs from the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic at National Jewish Health between June 2012 and March 2013.
All members of the study team met regularly to check new findings, discuss emergent new codes and themes, and assess the preliminary results of the analysis process.10 A total of 14 ICs participated in one of the three FGs (n=6, 5, 3).
The participants’ baseline characteristics are presented in table 1.