The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and Depression: A Longitudinal Analysis During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Purpose: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is multifaceted, with some patients experiencing anxiety and depression. Depression in COPD has been associated with worse total scores for the COPD assessment test (CAT). Also, CAT score worsening has been observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The relationship between the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score and CAT sub-component scores has not been evaluated. We investigated the relationship between CES-D score and CAT component scores during the COVD-19 pandemic. Patients and Methods: Sixty-five patients were recruited. Pre-pandemic (baseline) was defined as 23rd March 2019–23rd March 2020, CAT scores and information related to exacerbations were collected via telephone at 8-week intervals between 23rd March 2020–23rd March 2021. Results: There were no differences in CAT scores pre-compared to during the pandemic (ANOVA p = 0.97). Total CAT scores were higher in patients with symptoms of depression compared to those without both pre-(p < 0.001) and during-pandemic (eg, at 12 months 21.2 versus 12.9, mean difference = 8.3 (95% CI = 2.3–14.2), p = 0.02). Individual CAT component scores showed significantly higher chest tightness, breathlessness, activity limitation, confidence, sleep and energy scores in patients with symptoms of depression at most time points (p < 0.05). Significantly fewer exacerbations were observed during-compared to pre-pandemic (p = 0.04). We observed that COPD patients with symptoms of depression had higher CAT scores both pre-and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: Presence of depressive symptoms was selectively associated with individual component scores. Symptoms of depression may potentially influence total CAT scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1195
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2023


  • CAT
  • CES-D
  • COPD
  • COPD assessment test
  • center for epidemiological studies depression score
  • depression


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