Characteristics of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease choosing rehabilitation

J Rehabil Med. 2010 Apr;42(4):362-7. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0512.


Objective: To identify and compare objective and self-perceived characteristics of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, who do and do not choose rehabilitation.

Subjects: The study comprised 205 consecutive patients with mild to very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They chose either inpatient rehabilitation (n = 161) or ordinary outpatient consultations (n = 44).

Measurements: Disease severity was assessed with spirometric tests, health-related quality of life was assessed with the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire, and mental status was measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Socio-demographic and social characteristics, and co-morbidity variables were available.

Results: Patients in the rehabilitation group had a lower level of overall health-related quality of life (63.8 vs 47.6, p = 0.000) and a higher prevalence of anxiety (34.6% vs 13.6%, p = 0.007) than the outpatients. The outpatients received more psychological support from spouse/partner than patients in the rehabilitation group (70.5% vs 49.1%, p = 0.012). There were no differences in disease severity and co-morbidity.

Conclusion: The decision to choose rehabilitation may be determined by impaired health-related quality of life, psychological distress and lack of psychological support from a significant other. Our findings suggest that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are conscious of their overall health status and the necessary treatment to maintain or improve it.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Participation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Concept
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires