This correlational descriptive study investigated the relationship between depression, degree of dyspnea, and performance of daily activities in male and female patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The problem was to determine (a) the influence of depression on the degree of dyspnea experienced and performance of daily activities, and (b) the relationship between the degree of dyspnea experienced and the performance of daily activities by male and female patients with severe COPD.

This study contained a convenience sample of 49 patients who met the research criteria (38 males, 10 females, and one patient unidentified as to gender). All patients were given subjective, self-report tests including the Demographic Questionnaire developed by the researcher, the Functional Ability Change (FAC) instrument, the Activity-Related Dyspnea instrument, and the Geriatric Depression Scale.

The results obtained indicated that the level of depression positively correlated with the degree of dyspnea experienced (r=.55, p<.001) and the amount of change in activity performance (r=.43, p<.01) in both male and female severe COPD patients. A stronger correlation (p<.001) was observed between depression and dyspnea than between depression and the amount of change in daily activity performance (p<.01). Female patients were shown to be more depressed (x=22.2) than male patients (x=13.6). It was also noted that female severe COPD patients experienced a higher degree of dyspnea (x=5.7) and a greater change in daily activity performance (x=289) than male severe COPD patients (x=4.8 and x=253, respectively). This difference, however, was not statistically significant.

The findings support the notion from previous studies that the psychological component of COPD affects the physical component, and thus needs to be understood in more detail. In understanding the psychological and physiological ramifications of human responses to this disease process, a more wholistic approach toward care can be provided for the patient with COPD.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Patricia S. Jones

Second Advisor

Lois J. Van Cleve

Third Advisor

Grenith Zimmerman

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Lung Diseases, Obstructive; Depression; Dyspnea; Exertion



Page Count

x; 138

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Nursing Commons