Psychological distress and its associated factors among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Hunan, China: a cross-sectional study

Chunyu Wang, Jin Yan, Chenjuan Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience a high risk for psychological distress. Understanding what factors contributing to this risk is vital for developing effective interventions to address COPD-related psychological distress. To examine psychological distress and its associated factors in COPD patients in China. This is a cross-sectional study. Using cluster random sampling, 351 COPD patients participated in and completed a questionnaire survey from June 2021 to January 2022. Instruments used in this research included a self-designed social-demographic questionnaire, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), the COPD Knowledge Question, the Type D Personality Scale (DS-14), the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), and modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Score (mMRC). Multivariate linear regressions were used in the final analysis. Among 351 COPD patients, 307 (or 87.5%) had psychological distress. Our univariate analysis indicated that psychological distress scores were significantly associated with monthly household income (F = 2.861, P < 0.05), exercise frequency (F = 4.039, P < 0.01), type D personality (t = 5.843, P < 0.01), years with COPD (rs = 0.156, P < 0.01), frequency of acute exacerbation (rs = 0.114, P < 0.05), mMRC score (rs = 0.301, P < 0.01), and CAT score (rs = 0.415, P < 0.01). Our final multivariate linear regression showed that exercise frequency (coefficient = −1.012, P < 0.01) was an independent protective factor of psychological distress in COPD patients, while type D personality (coefficient = 3.463, P < 0.001), mMRC score (coefficient = 1.034, P < 0.001) and CAT score were independent risk factors (coefficient =.288, P < 0.001). No relationship was observed between psychological distress and knowledge of COPD. Psychological distress is commonly presented among COPD patients in China. Findings from this study suggest promoting and increasing frequency of exercise will be beneficial in reducing psychological distress among COPD patients. This study also highlights the importance of assessing personality type, dyspnea, and impact of COPD on daily living for preventing and managing psychological distress due to COPD. In addition, Given the high rate of psychological distress among COPD patients, policymakers should consider making mental health resources easily available and accessible to this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5199
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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