Predictors of Change in Dyspnea Level in Acute Exacerbations of COPD
The aim of this study was to identify factors related to changes in dyspnoea level in the acute and short-term periods after acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This was a prospective cohort study of patients with symptoms of acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation who attended one of 17 hospitals in Spain between June 2008 and September 2010. Clinical data and patient reported measures (dyspnoea level, health-related quality of life, anxiety and depression levels, capacity to perform physical activity) were collected from arrival to the emergency department up to a week after the visit in discharged patients and to discharge in admitted patients (short term). Main outcomes were time course of dyspnoea over the acute (first 24 hours) and short-term periods, mortality and readmission within 2 months of the index episode. Changes in dyspnoea in both periods were related capacity to perform physical activity as well as clinical variables. Short-term changes in dyspnoea were also related to dyspnoea at 24 hours after the ED visit, and anxiety and depression levels. Dyspnoea worsening or failing to improve over the studied periods was associated with poor clinical outcomes. Patient-reported measures are predictive of changes in dyspnoea level.