(HealthDay News) — Emotional intelligence, the capacity to understand and manage personal thoughts and feelings, is associated with self-management abilities and quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
Roberto P. Benzo, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues examined the value of emotional intelligence in patients with COPD. Three hundred ten patients with moderate-to-severe COPD completed the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (a disease-specific quality of life tool), Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire, Self-Management Abilities Scale, and Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale. They also completed pulmonary function tests and questionnaires examining personal and health care utilization information.
The researchers observed a significant correlation for emotional intelligence with self-management abilities (P < 0.0001). After adjustment for age, degree of bronchial obstruction, breathlessness, and other significant confounders, emotional intelligence was also associated with all domains of quality of life: dyspnea, fatigue, emotions, and mastery (P < 0.0001).
“Emotional intelligence can be learned and may complement existing rehabilitation efforts and address the current gap that exists in the treatment of emotional components of COPD that are responsible for poorer quality of life and higher health care utilization,” the authors write.