Coping Patterns and Emotional Distress in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Who Are Undergoing Lung Transplant Evaluation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSøyseth, Dew, Samersaw-Lund, Haugstad, Søyseth, Malt. Coping Patterns and Emotional Distress in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Who Are Undergoing Lung Transplant Evaluation. Progress in transplantation. 2020;30(3):228-234 https://doi.org/10.1177/1526924820933817
Objectives: Living with severe lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a very stressful situation. The way patients cope may impact their symptoms of anxiety and depression and physical function as well. We studied how ways of coping are associated with levels of emotional distress and lung function in patients with COPD being evaluated for lung transplantation. Methods: Sixty-five (mean age 57 years, 46% females) patients completed the General Health Questionnaire-30 (GHQ-30) assessing emotional distress and the Ways of Coping Questionnaire. Measurements of lung function and 6-minute walk test were included. Results: Seventeen (26%) patients had elevated emotional distress. Logistic regression of chronic GHQ score with gender, age, body mass index, lung function, and coping scales as covariates showed that escape avoidance and selfcontrolling coping and forced vital lung capacity were significantly associated with high emotional distress. Odds ratio of emotional distress increased with 5.2 per tertile (P ¼ .011) in escape avoidance coping score. Moreover, we revealed that emotionally distressed patients cope with their current situation by refusing to believe the current situation and taking their distress out on other people. Conclusion: Among patients with COPD, a high level of emotional distress was uniquely associated with escapeavoidance coping and lung function. Future work should ascertain whether coping style predicts distress or whether distress increases the use of escape-avoidance coping. Nevertheless, our findings indicate that if either element is present, health care professionals should be attentive to the need for interventions to improve patients’ well-being.