Respiratory health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is worse in breathless COPD patients than in breathless cancer patients, researchers have found.
Although breathlessness is common in patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and in patients with advanced cancers of all primary sites, little is known about the impact of breathlessness on HRQoL.
Dr. Morag Farquhar and colleagues from the University of Cambridge, U.K., used the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire-Original (CRQ-Original) to examine differences in respiratory HRQoL between 139 patients with breathlessness due to advanced COPD or advanced cancer who were referred for palliative care.
Patients with advanced COPD had lower median scores for all four CRQ domains, compared with patients with advanced cancer, though the differences were statistically significant only for three domains: dyspnea, emotional function, and mastery.
The differences in emotional function and mastery exceeded the minimally clinically important difference of 0.5 (on a scale of 0-7), the researchers report in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, online December 18.