Multiple symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Norway

Nurs Health Sci. 2013 Sep;15(3):292-9. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12031. Epub 2013 Jan 27.


This paper examines the prevalence of multiple symptoms and the relationships between future expectations and multiple symptoms in a cross-sectional study of 100 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A questionnaire was used to examine the patients' symptoms of breathlessness, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, and pain, and their outlook for the future. All patients reported breathlessness, 64% anxiety, 69% depression, 28% sleeplessness, 72% fatigue, and 45% pain. Those with anxiety reported significant depression (P < 0.001), and those with fatigue reported significant depression (P = 0.004). Patients who reported pain also reported significant sleeplessness (P = 0.022). A negative outlook for the future was reported by 42% of patients who also reported significantly more anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, and pain (P ≤ 0.049). Multiple symptoms are common in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and patients with a pessimistic view of the future reported more symptoms. Those with multiple symptoms and a negative outlook toward the future may benefit from interventions to help them achieve a more positive outlook for the future, which may relieve symptom burden.

Keywords: Norway; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; future expectations; multiple symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Norway
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Spirometry
  • Surveys and Questionnaires