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Chron Respir Dis. 2006;3(3):141-8.

Gender differences in the performance of activities of daily living among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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Glittreklinikken, Hakadal, Norway.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) limits the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). The Pulmonary Functional Status and Dyspnoea Questionnaire (PFSDQ) measures general dyspnoea, dyspnoea during ADL (dyspnoea score) and loss of functional performance (activity score) for a large number of activities commonly performed by adults. The questionnaire is only validated for male patients. The aim of our study was therefore to validate the PFSDQ for women with COPD. We then wanted to investigate possible gender differences in responses to the PFSDQ and whether associations between the PFSDQ and pulmonary function, exercise capacity, health related quality of life (HRQoL) and general quality of life (QoL) were influenced by gender. This cross-sectional, observational study included 110 COPD patients. Sixty-five men and 45 women, referred to pulmonary rehabilitation participated. Pulmonary function and six-minute walking distance (6MWD) were measured. Patients completed PFSDQ, St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ, HRQoL) and Perceived Quality of Life Scale (PQoL, QoL). No gender differences were found in pulmonary function (% of predicted), 6MWD, SGRQ or PQoL. Most items in the PFSDQ were found relevant by both women and men. Activity Scores were only different for men and women for items concerning home management; women had changed their functional performance the most, particularly for the heaviest chores. No gender differences were found in dyspnoea scores. Moderate correlations were found between PFSDQ and 6MWD, SGRQ and PQoL. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that these relations were not influenced by gender. We consider PFSDQ as applicable to women as to men as a comprehensive measure of functional performance and dyspnoea. The questionnaire gives information complementary to measures of exercise capacity, HRQOL and QOL. The larger loss of functional performance in home management among women should be taken into account in the treatment of COPD patients.

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