The burden of disease in children with non-cystic fibrosis (non-CF) bronchiectasis is unknown. Our study aimed to identify the determinants of quality of life (QOL) and parental mental health in this group of patients and their parents and to evaluate the effect of exacerbations on these parameters.
Parents of 69 children (median age 7 years) with non-CF bronchiectasis prospectively completed two questionnaires (parent-proxy cough-specific quality of life [PC-QOL] and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale [DASS]) at stable and exacerbation states. Data on clinical, investigational, and lung function parameters were also collected.
During the stable state, the median interquartile range (IQR) PC-QOL score was 6.5 (5.3-6.9) and the DASS 21-item questionnaire score was 6 (0-20). Being of a young age correlated with a worse QOL (r5 = 0.242, P = .04) but radiologic extent, lung function, underlying cause, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, and chronic upper-airway disease did not influence these scores. Exacerbations caused significant worsening in the PC-QOL scores (median [IQR], 4.6 [3.8-5.4]; P = .001) and DASS scores (median [IQR], 22 [9-42]; P < .001; 38% with elevated anxiety, 54% with abnormal depression/stress scores during exacerbation). The presence of viral infection, hypoxia, and hospitalization did not influence the exacerbation PC-QOL and DASS scores.
There is a significant burden of disease, especially during exacerbation, on parents of children with bronchiectasis. Prevention, early detection, and appropriate treatment of exacerbations are likely to reduce psychologic morbidity in this group.