Background Patients with bronchiectasis have impaired quality of life and exercise capacity1; however, other functional impairments have not been fully evaluated. We hypothesised that patients with bronchiectasis would have impaired functional activities; reduced grip strength, increased timed up and go test (TUG) and increased fatigue which would be associated with reduced quality of life (QoL).
Methods We studied 20 (4 male) clinically stable patients with bronchiectasis and 20 age, sex and smoking matched controls. In all subjects FEV1%, BMI, TUG, grip strength and 6 minute walk distance (6MWD) were measured. The TUG is a measure of functional mobility which records the time for a person to stand up from a chair, walk 3 m, turn around and sit down again. All subjects completed the multidimensional fatigue inventory which includes five domains of fatigue (each scored out of 20, higher scores indicate greater fatigue), and a self-reported physical activity score. Quality of life was measured in patients using the validated Saint Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ).2
Results Patients and controls had similar demographics (Abstract P241 Table 1). However, patients had increased TUG and reduced grip strength and 6MWD compared to controls. They also reported greater fatigue and reduced physical activity. In patients, the TUG was inversely related to grip strength (r=−0.528, and 6MWD (r=−0.478), (both p<0.05) but not fatigue, QoL or FEV1%. The 6MWD related directly to all domains of fatigue (except mental) and the SGRQ (all p<0.05). All domains of fatigue (except mental) related to total SGRQ.
Conclusions Patients with bronchiectasis have impaired functional activities and increased fatigue. Fatigue may result in reduced physical activity and reduced endurance (measured by 6MWD) which affect QoL more than short-lived functional activities.
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