Background: Apart from the disease status, chronically ill patients are confronted with stressors like dependence, limitations in mobility and physical complaints. Data on patients with sarcoidosis, however, are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of life (QOL) and the influence of QOL factors on depressive symptoms in these patients.
Patients and methods: Sixty-four patients with histologically proven sarcoidosis participated in this study. Significant co-morbidity was excluded. The Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) was used to determine the QOL. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), of which a subset of items measured cognitive symptoms, the Cognitive Depression Index (CDI). Disease status was assessed by pulmonary function parameters (FEV1, Dco), complaints and illness duration. To control for a confounding cognitive style of self-report, the Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) was administered.
Results: The major complaint was fatigue. QOL was related to the perception of complaints, but not to the assessed disease status. In a multivariate regression 86% of the variance could be explained in BDI-scores, and 83% in CDI-scores. After controlling for demographical factors, disease status and cognitive style, QOL contributed to the regression, explaining another 17% of variance of BDI-scores as well as CDI-scores. Problems with sleeping were associated positively with depressive symptoms in general (beta = 0.38) and depressive cognitions only (beta = 0.32).
Conclusions: In sarcoidosis, QOL factors were associated with depressive symptoms. These results suggest that patients with sarcoidosis may profit from attention to the psychosocial as well as the somatic aspects of this disease.