Impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on patient's life and his family

Pneumonol Alergol Pol. 2014;82(2):82-95. doi: 10.5603/PiAP.2014.0014.


Introduction: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the most common chronic diseases of adults and is a major cause of chronic morbidity and mortality throughout the world. It is the cause of physical and mental suffering for the patient, significantly impairs quality of life, reduces the vital activity and affects the patient's life in its various aspects. In 2012, the nationwide survey was conducted in COPD outpatients with a history of smoking exploring the various factors of the disease and its effects on the health and life of the patient. The purpose of the analysis presented here is to assess the impact of COPD and tobacco smoking on the patient's health and life.

Material and methods: Data were collected from patients by their physicians during routine visit with usage of specifically prepared questionnaire for this study. Patients over 35 years of age, with diagnosed COPD, current or past smokers were recruited from outpatients settings. The study involved 10,365 patients with COPD. Representative sample of 2,967 questionnaires were randomly drawn for the statistical analysis.

Results: The mean age of responders was 61.15 ± 10.25 years, 33.98% of participants were women, 56.73% were current smokers and 43.37% declared smoking in the past. The largest number of patients had COPD in a moderate degree (II - acc. to GOLD 2010) - 55.38%, sequentially mild (I) - 21.40%, and severe (III) - 19.96%, the smallest group were people with very severe degree of disease (IV) - 3.27%. Using the new classification of the COPD severity (acc. to GOLD 2013), the largest group of patients were less symptomatic (mMRC ) subjects who had a low risk (A) - 52.67%, but in fact a second group of patients were subjects with severe symptoms and a high risk (D) - 20 45% , sequentially - patients with low severity of symptoms, but a high risk (C) - 16.16% , and severe symptoms and a low risk - 10.72% (B). Patients most often reported that COPD affects their activity in sport (83.45% of respondents), than in living activity (82.78%) and family life (79.3%). COPD had significant (moderate or severe) effect on sport (60.85%) and life activity (38.44%), as well as on work (34.9%), but the greatest impact, leading up to the resignation of the activity: on sport practice (21.75%), sexual intercourse (12.6%) and hobbies (11.49%). The disease severity (GOLD 2013 C/D) was the independent factor which reduced all forms of activity. In patients' opinion smoking had negative impact on their health (52,65%) and the family budget (41.83%). The negative impact of smoking on family relations was declared by 16.38% of respondents. Among the factors which favor effective quit from addiction were: age ≥ 65 years and more seere degree of obturation (III/IV GOLD 2010).

Conclusions: The results of the study confirmed the significant impact of the disease and addiction to smoking not only on patients' life but also on their families.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Relations / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poland
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires