Introduction The QOL-B is the first disease-specific HRQoL questionnaire for bronchiectasis. Quittner et al (ATS, 2009) have provided preliminary data on reliability and validity of the questionnaire. It has not been used in bronchiectasis populations outside of the USA.
Aim To assess HRQoL using the disease-specific QOL-B questionnaire and explore the relationship between FEV1% predicted, age, gender, time from 1st Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate and QOL-B.
Methods This study is part of a larger study exploring adherence to treatment in bronchiectasis. Patients with bronchiectasis (confirmed by HRCT) were recruited if they had a positive sputum culture for P aeruginosa and were using nebulised antibiotics. Patients self-completed the QOL-B (eight domains, each scored 0–100, low-highHRQoL). Spirometry was performed according to ATS/ERS guidelines. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were completed for each QOL-B domain using four independent variables: age, gender, FEV1% and time from 1st P aeruginosa isolate.
Results 71 patients were recruited: 22M/49F; mean (SD) age 65 (8) yrs; FEV1 60 (25) % predicted; mean time since first P aeruginosa isolate 51 (41) months. QOL-B domains showed impairment in HRQoL, mean (range): physical functioning 31 (0–100); vitality 37 (0–78); health perceptions 39 (8–92); social functioning 42 (0–100); role functioning 46 (0–100); respiratory functioning 53 (8–100); treatment burden 56 (11–89); and emotional functioning 73 (8–100). Males had significantly lower (p=0.046) physical functioning than females, mean (SD) 22.8 (23) vs 36.58 (27) respectively; however gender did not explain the variance in any of the QOL-B domains. Age, FEV1% and time from 1st P aeruginosa isolate together explained 5.5–26.9% of variance (r2) in domain scores. Age was related to health perceptions (r2=12.1%), treatment burden (r2=11.5%), social (r2=15.6%), role (r2=10.7%) and respiratory (r2=16%) functioning domains. FEV1% was related to physical (r2=18.8%) and role (r2=8.7%) functioning domains. Time from 1st P aeruginosa isolate was related to vitality (r2=11%), physical (r2=6.9%), social (r2=5.6%) and emotional (r2=5.5%) functioning domains.
Conclusion HRQoL is impaired in patients with bronchiectasis. Older age is associated with better HRQoL. Higher FEV1% is associated with better physical and role functioning. Vitality, physical, social and emotional functioning improves with increased time from 1st P aeruginosa isolate.