Role of detailed psychological evaluation and treatment in pulmonary rehabilitation programs for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Submitted: November 15, 2023
Accepted: February 12, 2024
Published: February 27, 2024
Abstract Views: 415
PDF_EARLY VIEW: 194
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Psychological co-morbidities are common in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but remain overlooked. Psychosocial interventions are deemed to promote mental health and optimize management. This study aimed to determine the role of detailed psychological evaluation and treatment in the comprehensive management of COPD. COPD patients after screening with the general health questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) for psychological co-morbidity were divided into three groups (26 patients each): i) group A [GHQ-12 score<3, received pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) and standard medical management]; ii and iii) group B and C (GHQ-12 score>3, in addition, received management by a psychiatrist and counseling by a pulmonologist, respectively). At baseline and 8 weeks of follow-up, all participants were evaluated for respiratory [forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), six-minute walk distance (6-MWD), St. George's respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ), modified medical research council (mMRC) dyspnea scale], and psychological [GHQ-12, patient distress thermometer (PDT), coping strategy checklist (CSCL), World Health Organization-quality of life-brief (WHOQOL-Bref-26), and depression anxiety stress scales (DASS)] parameters. Psychological distress (GHQ-12>3) decreased significantly at follow-up, with 11.5% and 53.8% of patients having psychological distress in groups B and C, respectively, versus baseline (p<0.001). mMRC score, SGRQ score, FEV1 and 6-MWD significantly improved in all three groups. Improvement in mMRC and SGRQ was maximal in group B when compared with the other groups. PDT, CSCL, and WHO-QOL-Bref-26 scores improved significantly at follow-up in all three groups, with maximum improvement in group B, followed by group C, and then group A. The DASS score also improved maximally in group B. Patients should be screened for psychological co-morbidities using simple screening tools. PR plays an important role in improving the psychology of COPD patients. However, results are better with directed psycho-educative sessions by non-experts and best with definitive treatment by psychiatrists.

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Ethics Approval

The study was approved by the Institute’s Ethics committee vide letter no. GMC/IEC/2018/160 dated 26-12-2018.

How to Cite

Jacob, Anna, Kranti Garg, Kashish Dutta, Varinder Saini, Deepak Aggarwal, and Ajeet Sidana. 2024. “Role of Detailed Psychological Evaluation and Treatment in Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease, February. https://doi.org/10.4081/monaldi.2024.2849.

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