Background: Anxiety and depression are common and treatable risk factors for re-hospitalisation and death in patients with COPD. The degree of lung function impairment does not sufficiently explain anxiety and depression. The BODE index allows a functional classification of COPD beyond FEV1. The aim of this cross-sectional study was (1) to test whether the BODE index is superior to the GOLD classification for explaining anxious and depressive symptoms; and (2) to assess which components of the BODE index are associated with these psychological aspects of COPD.
Methods: COPD was classified according to the GOLD stages based on FEV(1%predicted) in 122 stable patients with COPD. An additional four stage classification was constructed based on the quartiles of the BODE index. The hospital anxiety and depression scale was used to assess anxious and depressive symptoms.
Results: The overall prevalence of anxious and depressive symptoms was 49% and 52%, respectively. The prevalence of anxious symptoms increased with increasing BODE stages but not with increasing GOLD stages. The prevalence of depressive symptoms increased with both increasing GOLD and BODE stages. The BODE index was superior to FEV(1%predicted) for explaining anxious and depressive symptoms. Anxious symptoms were explained by dyspnoea. Depressive symptoms were explained by both dyspnoea and reduced exercise capacity.
Conclusion: The BODE index is superior to the GOLD classification for explaining anxious and depressive symptoms in COPD patients. These psychological consequences of the disease may play a role in future classification systems of COPD.