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Table 1 Themes in conditions

From: The lived experience of breathlessness and its implications for care: a qualitative comparison in cancer, COPD, heart failure and MND

THEMES in the experience of breathlessness CONDITIONS compared
Themes Sub-themes Cancer COPD HF MND
Nature Manifestation (sudden/surreptitious) 4 12 7 10
  Evaluative (worst symptom) 1 11 4 2
  Associated feelings (fear) 4 18 2 10
  Influence on life (inhibiting) 3 17 9 10
Label No immediate diagnosis 1 18   
  Diagnosis carrying meaning 10 1 10  
  Diagnosis not carrying meaning   17   
  Long search for diagnosis     10
Time line Awareness of diagnosis after test for symptoms 10    
  Awareness of diagnosis in retrospect   18   
  Awareness after manifestation of symptoms and confirmed by test    10 2
  Step by step awareness     8
Cause Internal 2   7  
  External 5 18   
  Both 2 2 3  
  Not clear 1    10
Coping symptom No advice 9 12 8  
  PR 1 5 2  
  Essential breathing aids     10
Coping illness Psychological/spiritual mechanisms 7 4 6 10
  Self-management   5   
  Caution strategies   11 10  
  Hope in surgery for cure 4   7  
  Hope in treatment for extending life 5    
  Lack of coping (suffering)   11 2  
  Reliance on medication    10  
Consequences Family 3 9 3 10
  Financial 2 12 2 3
  Disability 2 18 10 10
  Search for cure 3    
  Fear of dying/death 3 12 6  
  Stigma 2 10 3 3
  Access to care   12 6  
  Copers   5   
  1. The numbers are representative of how many times something is mentioned throughout the interviews, therefore they may not always add up to the number of interviewees in each group.