Cough and Bladder Control in COPD

COPD patients with cough and urinary incontinence may have lower quality of life

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Millions of American have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - one of the most common lung diseases. With COPD affecting so many people, how does it affect our quality of life?

Cough and urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) may lower the quality of life in people with COPD.

"Quit smoking to prevent COPD."

There is little information on how cough and urinary incontinence affect the quality of life in COPD patients, according to Elisabet Hrisanfow, RN, MSc, and Doris Hägglund, RNT, PhD, researchers at of Örebro University in Sweden.

So the researchers set out to see how these two factors impact quality of life in people with COPD.

For the study, participants answered a questionnaire that used the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ) and SF-12 questionnaire. The CCQ measures your COPD health status. Based on the answers from 12 questions, the SF-12 calculates physical and mental health scores from 0 to 100, where zero marks the lowest health score and 100 marks the highest score.

They found that men and women with COPD and urinary incontinence had more cough and phlegm production symptoms than those without incontinence.

Men and women with incontinence were more affected by COPD symptoms (as measured by CCQ) than those without incontinence.

When looking at quality-of-life scores, the researchers found that women with incontinence had lower scores for both mental and physical health, compared to women without incontinence.

Specifically, women with incontinence had a physical state score of about 37.6 and a mental state score of about 44.3. In comparison, those without incontinence had a physical state score of about 41.4 and a mental state score of about 47.1.

Male COPD patients with incontinence also had a poorer mental state than their counterparts without incontinence. Those with incontinence had a mental state score of about 46.0, whereas those without incontinence scored about 49.8.

The authors concluded that cough and urinary incontinence lead to a poor quality of life in men and women with COPD.

They recommended that doctors include questions about urinary incontinence and quality of life in their treatment of men and women living with COPD.

The study was published July 17 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 23, 2012
Last Updated:
February 7, 2013