Evaluation of health-related quality-of-life and dyspnea scales in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Correlation with pulmonary function tests

Eur J Intern Med. 2005 Apr;16(2):105-112. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2004.09.013.


BACKGROUND: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has a profound impact on the functional status of patients. We sought to determine whether the health-related quality of life is affected in patients with IPF. METHODS: A total of 25 patients with IPF (aged 41-72 years) and 30 healthy subjects were evaluated in a cross-sectional study. All subjects were asked to complete three dyspnea scales-the Borg (BORG), the oxygen-cost diagram (OCD) and the modified MRC questionnaire-as well as a number of health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) questionnaires, i.e., the Saint-George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), the Quality of Well-Being (QWB) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Questionnaire (HAD). Pulmonary function tests, arterial blood gas measurements at rest and during exercise, chest radiographs and the duration of disease were used for correlation. RESULTS: The mean total values of all of the scales used were near the lower best values of each scale in IPF patients and were significantly different from values in the control group. Lung volumes (FVC and TLC) correlated significantly with the SGRQ. All dyspnea scales (BORG, OCD and MRC) showed a significant correlation with diffusing capacity and blood oxygenation at rest and during exercise. The duration of the disease correlated with all dyspnea scales used and with the SGRQ and HAD Questionnaires. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that dyspnea scales and the SGRQ are sensitive tools for assessing health-related quality of life in patients with IPF.