Dyspnea-12 is a valid and reliable measure of breathlessness in patients with interstitial lung disease

Chest. 2011 Jan;139(1):159-64. doi: 10.1378/chest.10-0693. Epub 2010 Jul 1.


Objective: In this study, we aimed to determine the validity and reliability of the Dyspnea-12 questionnaire (D-12) for the assessment of breathlessness in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Methods: A total of 101 patients with ILD completed the D-12 (scale range, 0-36, with a high score indicating worse dyspnea), Medical Research Council (MRC) dyspnea scale, St. George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at baseline, and 84 patients completed the D-12 and a global health transition score at follow-up 2 weeks later. D-12 psychometric properties, including floor and ceiling effects, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and construct validity were examined.

Results: The D-12 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach α, 0.93) and repeatability (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.94). Its scores were significantly associated with MRC grade (r = 0.59; P < .001), SGRQ (symptoms, r = 0.57; activities, r = 0.78; impacts, r = 0.75; total, r = 0.79; P < .001). Factor analysis confirmed the previously determined structure of the D-12 in this patient group.

Conclusion: In patients with ILD, the D-12, a patient-reported measure of dyspnea severity that requires no reference to activity, is a reliable and valid instrument. It is short, simple to complete, and easy to score.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis*
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*