Background and purpose: Bronchiectasis causes pulmonary infections and loss of lung function, resulting in chronic respiratory symptoms and worsening health-related quality of life. The aims of this study were to measure symptoms of depression and anxiety in a sample of patients with bronchiectasis and evaluate their relationship to health outcomes and health-related quality of life.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included adolescents and adults with bronchiectasis. Patients completed the hospital anxiety and depression scale and the St. George respiratory questionnaire. Health outcome data, including clinical, radiological and spirometric values, were recorded from medical charts.
Results: Ninety-three participants with bronchiectasis of any aetiology were recruited: 20 % had elevated depression-related scores and 38 % had elevated anxiety-related scores. Increased symptoms of depression and anxiety were significantly associated with age; anxiety was associated with more frequent exacerbations. Regression analyses indicated that after controlling for demographic (gender and age) and clinical variables (exacerbations frequency, daily sputum, aetiology and spirometry), both depression and anxiety symptoms predicted significantly worse health-related quality of life. In comparison with other predictors, psychological symptoms explained the largest amount of variance in health-related quality of life.
Conclusions: Symptoms of depression and anxiety were significant predictors of health-related quality of life in patients with bronchiectasis, independently of respiratory involvement, gender, age or other variables.