Health related quality of life and psychological variables among a sample of asthmatics in Ile-Ife South-Western Nigeria
Background: Assessment of health related quality of life (HRQL) has become central to assessing the selfperceived impact of physical and mental impairment on patient’s health. Studies have reported a high rate of psychological disturbances among asthmatics; however, the impact of these psychological factors on HRQL remains unexplored. Objectives: To assess the health related quality of life among a sample of asthmatics and to identify the psychological and clinical variables that affect quality of life among asthmatics. Method: A total of 81 patients attending the clinic were assessed using the Mini-Asthma Quality of Life questionnaire (Mini-AQLQ), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Sociodemographic and clinical variables were also obtained from the patients, the lung function was assessed using Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR). Results: Mean age of all the patients was 35.22 (SD±14.36) with a mean duration of asthma symptoms of 17.5 (SD±14.4) years. Mean peak expiratory flow was 336 l/min (SD±74.12). Anxiety was present in 44.4% of respondents, while 40% of respondents reported the presence of depressive symptoms, 48.1% of the respondents reported low scores on the asthma quality of life questionnaire. Poor quality of life was associated with the presence of psychological symptoms, female sex, and lower educational level. Conclusion: Psychosocial variables are just as important as clinical variables as determinants of health related quality of life among asthmatics.
Keywords: quality of life; asthma; anxiety; depression; psychosocial