Identification of Different Profiles of Illness Perception in COPD Patients: Results of Cluster Analysis

Svetlana Ovcharenko1, Yanina Galetskayte1, Dmitry Romanov2, 3, Dmitry Petelin2, *, Beatrice Volel2, 3
1 Department of Faculty Therapy, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russian Federation
2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychosomatics, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russian Federation
3 Mental Health Research Center, Moscow, Russian Federation

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 1413
Abstract HTML Views: 495
PDF Downloads: 256
ePub Downloads: 151
Total Views/Downloads: 2315
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 634
Abstract HTML Views: 286
PDF Downloads: 190
ePub Downloads: 104
Total Views/Downloads: 1214

Creative Commons License
© 2022 Ovcharenko et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychosomatics, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russian Federation; Tel: +7(915)128-28-20; E-mail:



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a widespread, late-diagnosed, and difficult-to-treat disease that influences the quality of life. Despite the availability of a wide range of drugs for the treatment of COPD, none of them provides a complete cure, while the leading risk factors (primarily, smoking) persist. In this regard, illness perception and medical behavior play a key role.


The study design was cross-sectional and included 143 stable outpatients (107 men, mean age 66 ± 7.5, FEV1 51.5 ± 16.5%) who attended the faculty therapy clinic of Sechenov University. The patients were examined pulmonologically and psychiatrically (Hamilton depression and anxiety rating scales). Illness perception was assessed by a brief version of the Illness perception questionnaire (brief IPQ).


There were no significant demographic differences and differences in the clinical severity of the disease between the selected groups. Patients in the distressed group had a longer duration of illness, a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression, and more severe dyspnea after a 6-minute walk test. In contrast, patients in the disregarding group had a significantly higher prevalence of smokers and a higher number of cigarettes smoked daily, and a lower prevalence of anxiety and depression. The harmonic had the most optimal profile with low severity of anxiety and depression, but with a healthier attitude to smoking.


Perception of illness in COPD patients has a significant impact on medical behavior and levels of anxiety and depression. As such, the perception of illness deserves routine monitoring in clinical practice.

Keywords: COPD, Illness perception, Anxiety, Depression, Smoking, Dyspnea.