This observational cohort study investigated the relationship between alexithymia, coping strategies, anxiety, depression, pulmonary function, and disease control in bronchial asthma (BA) patientswho attended a tertiary care center between December 2010 andNovember 2011. Participants (N = 117) were administered self-report scales measuring anxiety, depression, alexithymia, and coping strategies. Pulmonary function expressed as forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory flow rate over the middle 50% of the FVC (FEF25–75) as% predicted and FEV1/FVC as%, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in ppb and the Asthma Control Test (ACT) were recorded. A hierarchical cluster analysis revealed two clusters of patients with different FEV1 values (p < .001) and alexithymia scores (p < .001). The cluster with lower FEV1 and higher alexithymia used more maladaptive coping strategies (p < .05), and had lower ACT scores (p < .05). Alexithymia was significantly associated with the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms (p < .001 for each comparison). In BA patients, alexithymia was associated with worse pulmonary function and disease control and a more frequent use of maladaptive coping strategies. These results support a multidimensional approach to asthmatic patients, including psychoeducational and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing maladaptive coping strategies.
Disease Control in Patients with Asthma is Associated with Alexithymia but not with Depression or Anxiety / Mario Amore;Camilla Antonucci;Elena Bettini;Luca Boracchia;Marco Innamorati;Arianna Montali;Chiara Parisoli;Roberta Pisi;Sara Ramponi;Alfredo Chetta. - In: BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 0896-4289. - 39:4(2013), pp. 138-145. [10.1080/08964289.2013.818931]