Purpose Earlier research has shown that adaptation (i.e., the way in which employees cope with limitations resulting from their disease) is associated with sick leave. Our aim was to investigate signs of adequate or inadequate adaptation in employees with asthma and COPD. Methods A Q-methodological study was carried out among 34 workers with asthma or COPD. Results Four adaptation profiles were distinguished: the eager, the adjusted, the cautious, and the worried workers. The adaptation profiles provide insight into the different ways in which workers with asthma and COPD cope with their illness at work. Conclusions The adaptation profiles serve as a starting point for the design of appropriate (occupational) care. The eager workers experience little difficulties at work; the cautious workers may need assistance in learning how to accept their disease; the worried workers need reassurance, and may need reactivation; the adjusted workers deserve extra attention, and, when necessary, advice on how to live with their asthma or COPD.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Asthma, COPD, Coping, Q-methodology, Sick leave, Work
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10926-009-9185-0, hdl.handle.net/1765/24222
Journal Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
Boot, C.R.L, van Exel, N.J.A, & van der Gulden, J.W.J. (2009). "my Lung disease won't go away, it's there to stay": Profiles of adaptation to functional limitations in workers with asthma and COPD. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 19(3), 284–292. doi:10.1007/s10926-009-9185-0