Comparison of two questionnaires which measure the health-related quality of life of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2007 Feb;40(2):179-87. doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2007000200004.


The objective of the present study was to determine if there is a health-related quality of life (HRQL) instrument, generic or specific, that better represents functional capacity dysfunction in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients. HRQL was evaluated in 20 IPF patients using generic and specific questionnaires (Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 (SF-36) and Saint George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), respectively). Functional status was evaluated by pulmonary function tests, 6-min walking distance test (6MWDT) and dyspnea indexes (baseline dyspnea index) at rest and after exercise (modified Borg scale). There was a restrictive pattern with impairment of diffusion capacity (total lung capacity, TLC = 71.5 +/- 15.6%, forced vital capacity = 70.4 +/- 19.4%, and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity = 41.5 +/- 16.2% of predicted value), a reduction in exercise capacity (6MWDT = 435.6 +/- 95.5 m) and an increase of perceived dyspnea score at rest and during exercise (6 +/- 2.5 and 7.1 +/- 1.3, respectively). Both questionnaires presented correlation with some functional parameters (TLC, forced expiratory volume in 1 s and carbon monoxide diffusing capacity) and the best correlation was with TLC. Almost all of the SGRQ domains presented a strong correlation with functional status, while in SF-36 only physical function and vitality presented a good correlation with functional status. Dyspnea index at rest and 6MWDT also presented a good correlation with HRQL. Our results suggest that a specific instead of a generic questionnaire is a more appropriate instrument for HRQL evaluation in IPF patients and that TLC is the functional parameter showing best correlation with HRQL.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dyspnea / diagnosis
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vital Capacity / physiology