Symptom Burden in Patients with Airflow Limitation

What are the frequency and percentage of the COPD patients in the severe airflow limitation group who are employed in the Eckerblad et al. (2014) study?

The frequency and percentage of the COPD patients in the said group are 7 and 14% respectively.

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What percentage of the total sample is retired? What percentage of the total sample is on sick leave?

The share of retired persons constituted 61% of the total sample. The percentage of those on sick leave was 15%.

What is the total sample size of this study? What frequency and percentage of the total sample were still employed?

The total size of the sample was 91. The frequency of patients employed was 14, and the percentage value was 15%: 14/91*100 = 15.38 (15%).

What is the total percentage of the sample with a smoking history—either still smoking or former smokers? Is the smoking history for study participants clinically important?

97% of the patients in the sample had a history of smoking. The smoking history of the participants is clinically important, as smoking can have an adverse effect on COPD symptoms. Therefore, current smokers are more likely to have worse symptoms than those who stopped smoking.

What are pack years of smoking? Is there a significant difference between the moderate and severe airflow limitation groups regarding pack years of smoking?

Pack years of smoking are used to reflect the overall exposure to tobacco at the rate of one pack per day. For instance, if a person has been smoking 15 cigarettes per day for 20 years, he has 15 pack years of smoking in total. There is no significant difference between moderate and severe groups in the study by pack years of smoking: the p-value is 0.177, whereas the level of significance 0.05.

What were the four most common psychological symptoms reported by this sample of patients with COPD? What percentage of these subjects experienced these symptoms? Was there a significant difference between the moderate and severe airflow limitation groups for psychological symptoms?

The four most common psychological symptoms reported were difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritability, and sadness. The prevalence of these symptoms was 52%, 33%, 28%, and 22% respectively. There was no significant difference between moderate and severe groups regarding psychological symptoms.

What frequency and percentage of the total sample used short-acting β2 -agonists? Show

The total frequency of patients using short-acting β2-agonists was 45, and the percentage share was 49%: 45/91*100=49.45 (49%).

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Is there a significant difference between the moderate and severe airflow limitation groups regarding the use of short-acting β 2 -agonists?

The patients from the severe group were significantly more likely to use this type of treatment: 32 patients reporting using short-acting β 2 –agonists, comparing to 13 in moderate group. The p-value is 0.001, whereas the level of significance is 0.05.

Was the percentage of COPD patients with moderate and severe airflow limitation using short acting β 2 -agonists what you expected?

The high percentage of short-acting β2 –agonists users was not surprising: according to the AHRQ (2015), using long and short-acting β2 –agonists is far more effective than using short-acting muscarinic antagonist monotherapy for symptom alleviation and prevention of exacerbations.

Are these findings ready for use in practice?

The results of the study can be used in practice for the management of COPD in moderate and severe patient groups, as the findings suggest ways of evaluating and alleviating the symptoms of the condition.

Reference List

AHRQ. (2015). Prevention of acute exacerbations of COPD: American College of Chest Physicians and Canadian Thoracic. Web.

Eckerblad, J., Tödt, K., Jakobsson, P., Unosson, M., Skargren, E., Kentsson, M., & Theander, K. (2014). Symptom burden in stable COPD patients with moderate or severe airflow limitation. Heart & Lung, 43(4), 351–357. Web.

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