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Cognitive and Perceptual Factors, Not Disease Severity, Are Linked with Anxiety in COPD: Results from a Cross-Sectional Study.

Thakur ER, Sansgiry S, Petersen NJ, Stanley M, Kunik ME, Naik AD, Cully JA. Cognitive and Perceptual Factors, Not Disease Severity, Are Linked with Anxiety in COPD: Results from a Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2018 Feb 1; 25(1):74-84.

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PURPOSE: Guided by the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, the purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine clinical factors-demographics, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) severity, cognitive/perceptual variables (appraisal and coping)-and their relationship to clinically elevated symptoms of anxiety in a sample of veterans with COPD. METHOD: Participants included a sample of veterans with COPD, with or without comorbid congestive heart failure, and clinically significant symptoms of anxiety (n  =  172, mean age  =  65.3, SD  =  8.1), who previously presented to an outpatient VA setting. Participants completed questionnaires examining COPD severity (respiratory impairment and dyspnea- and fatigue-related quality of life); perceptions of a stressor (COPD illness intrusiveness); perceptions of control (locus of health control, mastery over COPD, self-efficacy); coping strategies (adaptive and maladaptive); and anxiety and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Multivariable linear regressions revealed that anxiety was positively associated with more maladaptive coping and locus of control (attributed to other people), above and beyond disease severity, demographics, and depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that cognitive and perceptual factors are concurrent with anxiety; however, longitudinal investigations are needed to fully understand this relationship. Future research should also focus on identifying optimal assessment and treatment procedures when evaluating and treating patients with COPD and symptoms of anxiety. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01149772.

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