Disability in moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Prevalence, burden and assessment-results from a real-life study

Fulvio Braido, Ilaria Baiardini, Nicola Scichilone, Claudio Sorino, Fabiano Di Marco, Angelo Corsico, Pierachille Santus, Giuseppe Girbino, Giuseppe Di Maria, Carlo Mereu, Eugenio Sabato, Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro, Giuseppina Cuttitta, Alberto Zolezzi, Caterina Bucca, Sara Balestracci, Giorgio Walter Canonica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The role of disability and its association with patient-reported outcomes in the nonsevere forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has never been explored. Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess, in a cross-sectional real-life study, the prevalence and degree of disability in moderate COPD patients and to assess its association with health status, illness perception, risk of death and well-being. Methods: Moderate COPD outpatients attending scheduled visits were involved in a quantitative research program using a questionnaire-based data collection method. Results: Out of 694 patients, 17.4% were classified as disabled and 47.6% reported the loss of at least one relevant function of daily living. Disabled patients did not differ from nondisabled patients in terms of working status (p = 0.06), smoking habits (p = 0.134) and ongoing treatment (p = 0.823); however, the former showed a significantly higher disease burden as measured by illness perception, health status and well-being. The stepwise regression analysis showed that the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) score was the most relevant factor related to COPD disability (F = 38.248; p = 0.001). Patient stratification was possible according to the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) value and an mMRC score ≥2, which identified disabled patients, whereas the mMRC values were differently associated with the risk of disability. Conclusion: A significant proportion of individuals with moderate COPD reported a limitation of daily life functions, with dyspnea being the most relevant factor inducing disability. Adding the evaluation of patient-reported outcomes to lung function assessment could facilitate the identification of disabled patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 6 2015


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Disability
  • Patient-reported outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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