Impact of coping and socioeconomic factors on quality of life in adults with asthma

Robert J Adams, David Wilson, Brian J Smith, Richard E. Ruffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective:  The socioeconomic variables of income, race and employment status have been shown to influence health‐related quality of life (HRQL) scores in persons with asthma. However, little is known about the impact of other psychological factors or perceptions of economic hardship on HRQL in asthma, despite the known influence these have on general activity levels and emotional perceptions. The aim of the present study was to assess the relationships between psychological and socioeconomic factors and HRQL and on subsequent changes to HRQL over 12 months.

Methodology:  Consecutive adult patients with moderate or severe asthma attending outpatient clinics, emergency departments or who were inpatients at two teaching hospitals, completed surveys of clinical status, psychological and socioeconomic variables, and HRQL instruments (SF‐36 and Modified Marks Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire [MAQLQ‐M]), at baseline and over 12‐months follow‐up.

Results:  Of 343 eligible subjects, survey responses were received from 293 at baseline and 232 at 12‐months. Mean age was 42 years (SD 18), 67% were female, 42% had moderate, and 58% severe current asthma clinical status according to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program guidelines criteria. In random‐effects multiple regression models, after adjusting for age, gender, education, income and hospital, significant independent variables associated with each of total MAQLQ‐M, SF‐36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and SF‐36 Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores were avoidance coping, perceived recent financial difficulties and clinical asthma status. Additional independent associations were, for total MAQLQ‐M, patient concerns about costs delaying them from seeking care (overall model r2 = 0.69); for PCS, active coping (r2 = 0.69) and for MCS, positive evaluations/satisfaction with illness (r2 = 0.54).

Conclusion:  Psychological factors, particularly coping styles, need to be taken into account when considering HRQL scores as outcome measures in asthma. Interventions to improve the coping capabilities of individuals with moderate‐to‐severe asthma may be potentially important areas for improvement of asthma‐related HRQL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • asthma
  • coping
  • Quality of Life
  • socio-economic factors


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