Measuring shortness of breath in heart failure (SOB-HF): development and validation of a new dyspnoea assessment tool.
ABSTRACT To validate a previously developed instrument for measurement of breathlessness in patients with acute heart failure (HF).
We tested descriptors of breathlessness among 190 patients seeking care at the emergency department (ED) for acute shortness of breath. Out of 115 patients with confirmed HF, 107 (94%) had dyspnoea as their main symptom. There were no significant differences between those patients with HF and those who were not diagnosed as heart failure (NHF) (n = 75) in the descriptors of breathlessness, although patients with HF scored significantly (P = 0.03) higher on a visual analogue scale (VAS). In addition, they had significantly (P = 0.03) higher breathing frequency than NHF patients and they were significantly (P < 0.001) more likely to be treated with >40 mg furosemide.
Assessment of acute dyspnoea using a VAS is useful in distinguishing HF from NHF, and may be a more valid approach as compared with using descriptors of intensity of breathlessness in the acute setting.
- SourceAvailable from: Paula Meek[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Dyspnea is among the most common reasons for emergency department (ED) visits by patients with cardiopulmonary disease who are commonly asked to recall the symptoms that prompted them to come to the ED. The reliability of recalled dyspnea has not been systematically investigated in ED patients. METHODS: Patients with chronic or acute cardiopulmonary conditions who came to the ED with dyspnea (N = 154) completed the Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile (MDP) several times during the visit and in a follow-up visit 4 to 6 weeks later (n = 68). The MDP has 12 items with numerical ratings of intensity, unpleasantness, sensory qualities, and emotions associated with how breathing felt when participants decided to come to the ED (recall MDP) or at the time of administration ("now" MDP). The recall MDP was administered twice in the ED and once during the follow-up visit. Principal components analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used to assess domain structure of the recall MDP. Internal consistency reliability was assessed with Cronbach's alpha. Test-retest reliability was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for absolute agreement for individual items and domains. RESULTS: PCA of the recall MDP was consistent with two domains (Immediate Perception, 7 items, Cronbach's alpha = .89 to .94; Emotional Response, 5 items; Cronbach's alpha = .81 to .85). Test-retest ICCs for the recall MDP during the ED visit ranged from .70 to .87 for individual items and were .93 and .94 for the Immediate Perception and Emotional Response domains. ICCs were much lower for the interval between the ED visit and follow-up, both for individual items (.28 to .66) and for the Immediate Perception and Emotional Response domains (.72 and .78, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: During an ED visit, recall MDP ratings of dyspnea at the time participants decided to seek care in the ED are reliable and sufficiently stable, both for individual items and the two domains, that a time lag between arrival and questionnaire administration does not critically affect recall of perceptual and emotional characteristics immediately prior to the visit. However, test-retest reliability of recall over a 4- to 6-week interval is poor for individual items and significantly attenuated for the two domains.BMC Emergency Medicine 05/2012; 12(1):6.