Effect of dyspnea and clinical variables on the QOL and functional capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure

Ege University Medical Faculty Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, Turkey.
Chinese medical journal (Impact Factor: 1.05). 04/2008; 121(7):592-6.
Source: PubMed


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) are two chronic diseases that affect negatively the functional condition and quality of life of patients. We assessed the effect of symptoms and clinical variables on the functional capacity and quality of life in COPD and CHF patients.
The study included 42 COPD and 39 CHF patients. In both patient groups, dyspnea was assessed using Borg scale; functional capacity by shuttle-walk and cardiopulmonary exercise test and quality of life by short form-36 (SF36).
No statistically significant difference was found in neither of the two disease groups regarding the dyspnea score, shuttle-walk test and the majority of subgroup scores of SF36 (P > 0.05). A statistically significant difference was observed in peak VO2 in favor of COPD group (P < 0.05). No significant relationship was established between dyspnea score and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) in COPD patients, and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in CHF patients (P > 0.05). A significant negative correlation was observed between dyspnea score and functional capacity tests in both disease groups (P < 0.05). On the other hand, no relationship was found between LVEF and FEV1 and quality of life and functional capacity (P > 0.05).
It was revealed that symptoms have an impact on functional capacity and quality of life in both disease groups, however, objective indicators of disease severity do not show a similar relationship. Therefore, in addition to the objective data related to the disease, we recommend that symptoms should also be taken into consideration to assess cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program and during following-up.

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    • "The differentiation between cardiac and pulmonary dyspnea is not easy without clinical evidence of these diseases [6]. A recent study showed that dyspnea-related symptoms have an impact on functional capacity and QOL in both diseases [7]. Thus, considered with the similarity in both diseases, it may be reasonable to apply a QOL questionnaire for respiratory failure to severe heart failure. "
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