Anxiety and depression are prevalent comorbidities in people with chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs). This study sought to quantify the influence of varying degrees of anxiety and depression on functional performance and disease impact in a population with CRDs following pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) intervention.
The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), and the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Assessment Test (CAT) were assessed pre- and post-PR. Participants were categorized into 3 groups (None, Probable, and Present) based on their level of anxiety and depression. Functional performance and disease impact outcomes were compared pre- and post-PR.
Patients consisted of a total of 134 program completers (72 males, 62 females; mean age = 67.8 years). Significant improvements in functional performance with regard to 6MWT scores were observed across all groups postintervention (P < .05). The Present group, in both the anxiety and depression domains, failed to reach a minimally clinically important difference postintervention. The Probable and Present groups achieved a significant improvement in CAT scores postintervention (P < .05).
This study showed that symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with CRDs were significantly related to lower exercise tolerance levels and higher levels of disease impact. People with increased levels of anxiety and depression have the potential to significantly improve disease impact outcomes post-PR. The results demonstrated that the detection and treatment of anxiety and depression symptoms in people with CRDs are likely to be clinically important.