PURPOSE: COPD continues to constitute an important cause of respiratory morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. It is estimated that at least 10million Nigerians may have COPD, most of which is undiagnosed and untreated. The St Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) has been shown as a useful tool in assessing the impact of COPD on patients in view of the systemic components of the disease which eludes spirometric evaluation. However administering this questionnaire is often time taking and difficult among the unlearned in the developing countries.We sought to establish the relationship between the Health Related Quality Life (HRQL) as measured by the SGRQ and the Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) among patients with COPD in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
METHODS: We prospectively recruited patients with COPD as defined by the GOLD guidelines and assessed their PEF before and after administration of salbutamol. They all had Spirometry and the SGRQ was administered.
RESULTS: Fifty four (54) patients with mean age 68 ± 9, FEV1 % 50 ±23, FVC % 56 ± 23 were selected. The PEF correlated with the SGRQ subscales and global score and good correlations were demonstrated in all the domains; “symptom vs. PEF” r = −0.408, p =0.003, “activity vs. PEF” r = −0.496, p < 0.001, “impact vs. PEF” r= −0.425 p= 0.002, “Total vs. PEF” r= −0.486 p<0.001.
CONCLUSION: Though PEF has largely been dismissed by most national and international guidelines as an unreliable tool in assessment of patients with COPD, in low income countries like Nigeria, it could represent a simple and measurable reflection of the HRQL among patients with COPD. This relationship however will require further evaluation in future studies.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The PEF meter is a small and simple instrument but it could serve as a veritable tool in the assessment of patients with COPD in low income countries both for Home monitoring and clinic evaluation and care.
DISCLOSURE: Daniel Obaseki, None.