Screen COPD Patients With Sleep Problems for Mood Disorders

Heidi Splete

August 04, 2020

A study has shown a strong link between sleeping disturbances and depression in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Adults with clinically stable COPD who reported sleep problems were significantly more likely to report depression or anxiety, poor self-efficacy, and poor health-related quality of life, compared with those not reporting sleep problems, according to the findings from a study of 245 patients.

Sleep problems are common in patients with COPD and have been associated with poor COPD-related outcomes, wrote Sang Hee Lee, MD, of Wonkwang University Sanbon Hospital, Gunpo-si, South Korea, and colleagues.

"However, there is a lack of research on factors associated with sleep disturbance in patients with COPD," they wrote.

In a prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study published in the Clinical Respiratory Journal, the researchers enrolled 245 adults with COPD who completed the COPD and Asthma Impact Scale (CASIS) to determine sleep impairment. The CASIS was developed to measure sleep-related problems associated with respiratory disease, and scored on a scale of 1-100, with higher scores indicating greater sleep impairment. The average CASIS score was 40.9. The average age of the patients was 67 years, and 92% were men.

Patients' health-related quality of life, anxiety/depression, and self-efficacy were assessed using the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the COPD Self-Efficacy Scale (CSES). The average scores on these measures were 36.0 for the SGRQ; 48.1 and 50.6, respectively, for the physical and mental components of the SF-36; 3.8 and 6.4, respectively, for the HADS-A and HADS-D measures of anxiety and depression; and 3.3 on the CSES.

Worse sleep in these patients was associated with worse scores on measures of mood. In a multivariate analysis, higher scores on all four measures of health-related quality of life were significantly associated with higher CASIS scores (P = .006 for SGRQ; P = .037 for SF-36, P < .001 for HADS, and P = .010 for CSES).

Although the CASIS did not allow for measurement of symptom severity and did not include many items related to breathing problems, the test "shows good internal consistency, test-retest reproducibility, and construct validity according to previous studies," the researchers wrote. "The CASIS may be a good tool for evaluating sleep disturbances in COPD patients, and further study is needed," they added.

The study findings were limited by several factors including the cross-sectional study design, lack of data on obstructive sleep apnea, and lack of information on specific treatments such as at-home oxygen use or high-dose steroid use, the researchers noted. However, the results were strengthened by the use of a disease-specific sleep measure, and the study is the first known to include self-efficacy in relation to sleep quality in COPD patients, they reported.

The results highlight the association between depression, poor quality of life, and self-efficacy in relation to poor sleep, and suggest that "Sleep quality could be improved by enhancing HRQL and self-efficacy," the researchers said. "Screening for mood disorder in patients with COPD is also needed," they concluded.

The study was supported by the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.

SOURCE: Lee SH et al. Clin Respir J. 2020 Jul 24. doi: 10.1111/crj.13235.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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