Changes in symptoms and health-related quality of life in patients with exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Aims: To describe changes in symptoms and identify distinct subgroups of symptoms, to determine whether the sample's characteristics predicted changes in symptoms, and to examine how changes in symptoms predicted changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) over 6 months in patients with exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Background: Different patterns of changes in symptoms and their relationship to changes in HRQOL in patients with exacerbated COPD over long periods of time have been understudied. Methods: In this longitudinal study, participants with COPD (N = 42) had been admitted to a medical ward or had visited a pulmonary medicine clinic for treatment of exacerbation. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data from questionnaires that assessed symptoms and HRQOL at baseline, daily symptoms over 6 months, and HRQOL at 6 months after exacerbation. Results: Not all participants experienced improved symptoms over time. Two sets of subgroups (improving & worsening; constantly better & constantly worse) emerged, based on 6-month changes in symptoms. Sample characteristics of the improving and worsening subgroups were similar, whereas usual dyspnea and HRQOL were significantly different in the constantly better and constantly worse subgroups. Little change in HRQOL was found in the total sample, but HRQOL deteriorated in the worsening subgroup, although deterioration was not meaningful. Changes in symptoms significantly predicted changes in HRQOL over 6 months. Conclusion: Assessing patients' symptoms after exacerbations of COPD may enable health care providers to identify those at risk of future exacerbations and poorer HRQOL.0

Original languageEnglish
Article number151278
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research study was funded by National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF-2014R1A1A1037712 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Exacerbation
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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