Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a high rate of depression. Certain findings in a patient with COPD should prompt screening for depression.

Risk groups that are associated with depression:

(1) clinical manifestations of severe COPD

(2) poor health

(3) risk factors for depression

(4) depressive behaviors


Clinical findings associated with depression in a patient with COPD:

(1) severe dyspnea

(2) severe fatigue

(3) significant hypoxia

(4) severe disability

(5) poor self-rated health

(6) moderate to severe anxiety

(7) history of depression

(8) substance abuse

(9) anger

(10) poor adherence to therapeutic regimen

(11) no or limited social support

(12) poor sleep quality

(13) poor appetite

(14) concurrent cancer


All patients with moderate to severe COPD should be monitored for depression with a more in depth evaluation indicated when two or more of these findings are present.

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