Respiratory disorders and behavioral research
Kleinman (1988) hit the nail on the head with his plea for health care workers to listen to the stories patients tell about their symptoms and the complaints they voice regarding their illnesses. There is overwhelming evidence that attests to the impact of patient responses to the medical management of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A recent series of papers in Thorax, for example, outlined the association between asthma patients’ self-management skills, medical management, and the most serious outcome of this condition, death (Bucknall et al., 1999; Burr et al., 1999). At the same time, reviews of the effects of selfmanagement skills in asthma and COPD describe the positive consequences of these skills on outcomes such as hospital admission, psychological well-being, and school and work absenteeism (e.g., Devine, 1996; Devine & Pearcy, 1996).