The experience of trauma and health anxiety in complex Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A Cross Sectional Study
thesisposted on 17.10.2016, 13:57 by Lorraine Clare Craig
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a degenerative respiratory condition in which lung functioning is significantly impaired. COPD is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and is associated with significant societal and personal costs. This thesis sought to better understand the psychological impact of COPD on individuals with the disease and those who provide familial/informal care to individuals with COPD. Literature Review: COPD confers significant burden to individuals undertaking informal care, yet no previous reviews had focused exclusively or systematically on the psychological impact of caregiving in COPD. The current review examined quantitative studies assessing the prevalence and predictors of psychological distress in COPD carers. Twelve studies were elicited, revealing caring for individuals with COPD was associated with increased psychological distress, notably high prevalence of self-reported anxiety and depression. Findings related to the predictors of psychological morbidity in COPD carers were equivocal, not allowing for firm conclusions to be drawn; further research regarding predictors of psychological morbidity amongst COPD caregivers is warranted. Empirical Study: The current study examined the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and health anxiety in individuals with complex COPD, and whether these variables predicted the variance in psychological morbidity and health related quality of life. A total of sixty COPD patients were recruited from an outpatient clinic. Results indicated clinically significant PTSD in 13% of the sample, and 48% of the sample had clinically significant health anxiety. Health anxiety accounted for a small but significant amount of variance in anxiety, depression and health related quality of life. PTSD symptom severity showed no relationship with the same variables, which was surprising. Possible explanations were explored. Further research examining these relationships is recommended, to support the development of targeted interventions for those with COPD.