Quality of Life and Social-Economic Characteristics of Greek Male Patients on Long-Term Oxygen Therapy

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) profoundly impacts patients' functional status, especially in the advanced stages, when long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) is implemented. OBJECTIVE: To determine the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with COPD and using LTOT, and assess the relationship of socioeconomic characteristics and pulmonary function test results to HRQOL scores. METHODS: We studied a group of 85 patients with COPD and hypoxemia who were on LTOT, and a control group of 48 patients with stable COPD but without hypoxemia. All subjects were asked to rate their dyspnea on the Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale, and to take the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (SF-36), the General Health Questionnaire (30 questions), and a questionnaire (which we developed for this study) to measure their independence in activities of daily living (ADL). We also conducted pulmonary function tests and arterial blood gas analyses, and recorded socioeconomic characteristics. RESULTS: The subjects' socioeconomic status was moderate to low. HRQOL was impaired in patients on LTOT, especially in the physical function domain, and most of the examined dimensions correlated with the severity of dyspnea and psychological status. There was a significant association between ADL score and SF-36 score in the vitality and physical domains, but there was no significant association between HRQOL score and spirometry or blood gas values. CONCLUSIONS: HRQOL in patients with COPD and on LTOT is low and is influenced by dyspnea, mental status, and incapacity, rather than by physiological variables. We recommend a multidimensional therapeutic approach that targets symptom-control and ADL support to improve the patient's overall HRQOL.

Keywords: ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING; ADL; BLOOD GASES ANALYSIS; CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE; COPD; DYSPNEA; GREECE; GREEK; HEALTH-RELATED QUALITY OF LIFE; HRQOL; LONGTERM OXYGEN THERAPY; LTOT; PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS; SOCIOECONOMIC

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 2nd Chest Clinic, General Hospital, G Papanikolaou, Thessaloniki, Greece;, Email: bpneumonologiki@yahoo.gr 2: 2nd Chest Clinic, General Hospital, G Papanikolaou, Thessaloniki, Greece 3: Neurologic Clinic, Ippokration General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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