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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2008 Oct;41(10):860-5.

Relationship between disease severity and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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  • 1Departamento de Fisioterapia, Centro Universitário Católico Salesiano Auxilium (Unisalesiano), Araçatuba, SP, Brasil.


Few studies have evaluated the relationship between Airways Questionnaire 20 (AQ20), a measure of the quality of life, scores and physiological outcomes or with systemic markers of disease in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), body mass index, fat-free mass index, 6-min walk test (6MWT) results, dyspnea sensation and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) with the quality of life of COPD patients. Ninety-nine patients with COPD (mean age: 64.2 +/- 9.2 years; mean FEV1: 60.4 +/- 25.2% of predicted)were evaluated using spirometry, body composition measurement and the 6MWT. The baseline dyspnea index (BDI) and the Modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) scale were used to quantify dyspnea. Quality of life was assessed using the AQ20and the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). The Charlson index was used to determine comorbidity. The body mass index/airflow obstruction/dyspnea/exercise capacity (BODE) index was also calculated. AQ20 and SGRQ scores correlated significantly with FEV1, SpO2, 6MWT, MMRC and BDI values as did with BODE index. In the multivariate analyses,MMRC or BDI were identified as predictors of AQ20 and SGRQ scores (P < 0.001 in all cases). Thus, the relationship between AQ20 and disease severity is similar to that described for SGRQ. Therefore, the AQ20, a simple and brief instrument, can be very useful to evaluate the general impact of disease when the time allotted for measurement of the quality of life is limited.

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