Adding Granularity of COPD Self-Management to Impact Quality of Life

Maria V. Benzo, Paul Novotny, Roberto P. Benzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Self-management abilities are a recognized ingredient for living well with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), improving all outcomes. Fostering self-management requires a personalized program and patient engagement to make lifestyle decisions. While some self-management practices are proven effective, like the prompt use of a plan for COPD exacerbations, there is a guideline-recognized gap on specific self-management behaviors that can impact particular COPD symptoms and allow for tailored self-management programs. We aimed to investigate the association of well-defined self-management behaviors with the most common COPD symptoms in a large cohort of patients with COPD. Methods: We analyzed baseline data of stable COPD patients who participated in 3 National Institutes of Health-funded studies. Symptoms were defined by the 4 domains of the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire: dyspnea-fatigue-emotions-mastery. The self-management behaviors were the individual items of the Self-Management Ability Scale-30. Lasso regression models were built to explore the association of behaviors with symptoms, adjusting for lung function and age. Results: We analyzed 512 stable COPD patients, 54% female, age mean (standard deviation [SD]) 69.6 (9.9) years and forced expiratory volume in 1 second percent predicted (FEV1%) 42.2 (19.0). Dyspnea was associated with exercising and self-efficacy for self-care. Emotion was associated with good relationships, self-efficacy for self-care, positivity, and participating in agreeable activities. Fatigue was associated with self-efficacy for self-care, doing exercise, and participating in agreeable activities. Mastery was associated with self-efficacy for self-care, positivity, exercising, and participating in agreeable activities. Discussion: Our findings provide specific self-management behaviors associated with common COPD symptoms that may inform self-management programs. Positive thinking represents a novel self-management approach to COPD emotions and mastery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • COPD
  • health coaching
  • health-related quality of life
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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