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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 22, Issue 1, Pages 37-41
Original Article

Is There an Association between Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression and Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

Verônica F Parreira,1,2,3 Renata N Kirkwood,4 Megan Towns,2 Isabel Aganon,2 Lauren Barrett,2 Catherine Darling,2 Michelle Lee,2 Kylie Hill,2,5,6 Roger S Goldstein,2 and Dina Brooks2,3

1Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Fellow (CAPES – Brazil), Brazil
2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Canada
3Department of Respiratory Medicine, West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
5School of Physiotherapy and Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Australia
6Lung Institute of Western Australia and Centre for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Research, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: In addition to symptoms, such as dyspnea and fatigue, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also experience mood disturbances.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the relationships between health-related quality of life measures collected from patients with stable COPD and a commonly used measure of depression and anxiety.

METHODS: The present analysis was a retrospective study of patients with COPD enrolled in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ), Medical Research Council dyspnea scale and 6 min walk test data were collected. Statistical analyses were performed using Spearman’s correlations, and categorical regression and categorical principal component analysis were interpreted using the biplot methodology.

RESULTS: HADS anxiety scores retrieved from 80 patients were grouped as ‘no anxiety’ (n=43 [54%]), ‘probable anxiety’ (n=21 [26%]) and ‘presence of anxiety’ (n=16 [20%]). HADS depression scores were similarly grouped. There was a moderate relationship between the anxiety subscale of the HADS and both the emotional function (r=−0.519; P<0.01) and mastery (r=−0.553; P<0.01) domains of the CRQ. Categorical regression showed that the CRQ-mastery domain explained 40% of the total variation in anxiety. A principal component analysis biplot showed that the highest distance between the groups was along the mastery domain, which separated patients without feelings of anxiety from those with anxiety. However, none of the CRQ domains were able to discriminate the three depression groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The CRQ-mastery domain may identify symptoms of anxiety in patients with COPD; however, the relationship is not strong enough to use the CRQ-mastery domain as a surrogate measure. None of the CRQ domains were able to discriminate the three depression groups (no depression, probable and presence); therefore, specific, validated tools to identify symptoms of depression should be used.