Fatigue and disability in elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. Sep-Oct 2011;53(2):e93-8. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.07.001. Epub 2010 Aug 11.


The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence and severity of fatigue and to investigate relationships between fatigue, and disability in elderly COPD patients. This descriptive and analytical study was conducted on 98 patients. Three instruments were used: Personal information form (PIF), visual analog scale for fatigue (VAS-F) and brief disability questionnaire (BDQ). The statistical analyses were used in order to evaluate the data: Student's t-test, Kruskall-Wallis test, Pearson correlation coefficient calculation and logistic regression analysis. All of patients in the sample experienced fatigue. The level of fatigue and disability experienced by the patients with COPD was high, their energy level was low. It was determined that as COPD patients' fatigue increases their disability also increases, that there are relationships between fatigue and marital status and that there are relationships between disability and gender. Furthermore, in this study significant differences were found in COPD patients' VAS-F and BDQ scores for some symptoms of COPD, such as dyspnea, fatigue, cough and sputum. The results of the study indicated that high levels of fatigue are experienced which impacts on patients' functional condition and needs to be professionally assessed managed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Disease Progression
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Fatigue / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surveys and Questionnaires