A pulmonary rehabilitation program reduces levels of anxiety and depression in COPD patients

Athanasios Tselebis, Dionisios Bratis, Argiro Pachi, Georgios Moussas, Ioannis Ilias, Maria Harikiopoulou, Elpida Theodorakopoulou, Silvia Dumitru, Epaminondas Kosmas, Alexandros Vgontzas, Nikolaos Siafakas, Nikolaos Tzanakis

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47 Scopus citations


Background: The presence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in COPD patients has been acknowledged for many years. The preponderance of recent studies supports the utility of pulmonary rehabilitation programs to reduce the levels of depression and anxiety in these patients. The aim of this study is to investigate possible changes in levels of anxiety and depression among patients enrolled in a pulmonary rehabilitation program, along with the role of disease severity in these changes. Methods: In 101 COPD patients, who attended a pulmonary rehabilitation program, levels of trait anxiety (STAI) and depressive symptoms (BDI) were assessed at the beginning and at the end of the program. Age, sex, level of education in years and stage of disease severity were recorded. Results: Our study included 80 male and 21 female patients. Mean age and mean education level were 64.1 ± 8.1 and 11.3 ± 4.1 years, respectively. Regarding COPD staging, 11 patients suffered from mild, 16 from moderate, 47 from severe and 27 from very severe COPD. Significant decreases in anxiety (from 39.7 to 34.0, p < 0.001) and depression rates (from 10.7 to 6.3, p < 0.001) were observed. A statistically significant reduction in anxiety and depression was revealed (p < 0.05)at all stages of COPD. Conclusion: Pulmonary rehabilitation programs should be offered to all COPD patients irrespective of disease severity, since they all lead to improvement in anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalMultidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 22 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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