Quality of Life Research

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 991–998 | Cite as

Demographic and clinical characteristics associated with quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Signe Berit BentsenEmail author
  • Christine Miaskowski
  • Tone Rustøen



Despite an increasing interest in the relationships among multiple symptoms and quality of life (QOL), little known about the association between anxiety, depression, and pain and both disease-specific and generic QOL in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


In a cross-sectional study of 100 COPD patients, disease-specific QOL was measured by St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire and generic QOL by the QOL scale. Anxiety and depression were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and pain was assessed with a numeric rating scale.


Of the 100 patients, 31 % reported clinically meaningful anxiety, 13 % depression, and 45 % reported the presence of pain. Younger patients (p = 0.02) and those with higher anxiety scores (p = 0.02) reported worse disease-specific QOL. Patients with lower physical function (p = 0.04) and those with higher depression scores (p < 0.001) reported worse generic QOL. Age, comorbidity, physical function, anxiety, depression, and pain explained 19.2 and 49.6 % of the variance in disease-specific and generic QOL scores, respectively.


Findings from this study suggest that the relationships between patient characteristics and common symptoms and QOL differ when disease-specific and generic measures of QOL are evaluated. Additional research is warranted to confirm these findings in COPD patients. Clinicians need to evaluate these common symptoms when planning and implementing symptoms management interventions to improve COPD patients’ QOL.


Anxiety Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Depression Pain Physical function Quality of life Symptoms 



This study was supported by a grant from Haugesund Hospital, Department of Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Signe Berit Bentsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christine Miaskowski
    • 2
  • Tone Rustøen
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ResearchHaugesund HospitalHaugesundNorway
  2. 2.Department of Physiological Nursing, School of NursingUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Division of Emergencies and Critical Care, Department of Research and DevelopmentOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of Nursing Science, Institute of Health and SocietyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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