Psychological symptom patterns and vital exhaustion in outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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

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Background: Several studies have reported high prevalence of anxiety and depression in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) outpatients. Moreover, these patients share psychological or psychopathological characteristics that inhibit their ability to cope with the disease. In the present study we aimed to record the prevalence of psychological symptom patterns in a sample of Greek COPD outpatients and to assess which psychological factors (and to which degree) contribute to vital exhaustion (VE).Methods: The study included 139 COPD outpatients. We used the Symptom Checklist 90 - Revised (SCL-90-R) and the Maastricht Questionnaire (MQ) in order to evaluate psychological symptom patterns and VE, respectively.Results: The mean MQ score was 19.6, which is significantly higher than the corresponding score in the general population. Regarding the SCL-90-R dimensions, depression was the highest followed by somatization, obsessive-compulsive and anxiety dimensions. Additionally, a positive correlation was observed between the MQ and the SCL-90-R dimensions. MQ failed to demonstrate correlation with age, gender, education level or the severity of the disease. Depression seems to be responsible for 57.9% of the variation of VE, while obsessive-compulsiveness is responsible for an additional 2.4%. All the remaining dimensions of SCL-90-R had no statistically significant contributions.Conclusions: Our findings suggest the high prevalence of VE, together with high rates in most of the SCL-90-R dimensions with greater depression, somatization, obsessive-compulsiveness and anxiety in a Greek COPD group at various Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) diagnostic criteria stages. The coexistence of such symptoms should be further assessed as an eventual unfavorable prognostic factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
StatePublished - Dec 6 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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