Breathing intensity and word use in individuals with COPD

C. Michaels, P. M. Meek, S. Dedkhard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Shifts in natural or spontaneous language have been reported with psychological and physical changes, as well as shifts in predetermined words selected to describe dyspnea. Less evidence exists for natural language shifts and breathing intensity, particularly for everyday life and for negative emotion. Therefore, this study purpose was to describe the relationship between levels of everyday breathing intensity and the natural language word categories used in describing breathing, including a negative emotion category. A longitudinal descriptive research design and a convenience sample of 45 individuals were used. Natural language was analyzed as rates of word used based on three levels of breathing intensity. Non-parametric statistics were used to test differences between rates of word use and non-use on low, moderate, and high breathing intensity days, as well as correlations to subscales that measured negative emotion on the Bronchitis-Emphysema Symptom Checklist (BESC) and the Breathing Standard Index. Statistically significant associations were reported between level of breathing intensity and negative emotion, anger, cause, insight, time, and body words. Several significant correlations were reported with the psychosocial measures, including negative emotion and anxiety words with the BESC hopelessness/helplessness, time subscale, and negative emotion words with the inverse of typical breathing (i.e., atypical breathing). By showing significant associations between key word categories, in particular negative emotion and anger word use, levels of breathing intensity, and selected psychosocial measures, this study contributes to the body of knowledge about the influence of levels of breathing intensity on natural word use in everyday life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Breathing intensity
  • COPD
  • Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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