Introduction: Health care demand is increasing due to greater longevity of patients with chronic comorbidities. This increasing demand is occurring in a setting of resource scarcity. To address these changes, high-value care initiatives, such as telemedicine, are valuable resource-preservation strategies. This study introduces the Roth score as a telemedicine tool that uses patient counting times to accurately risk-stratify dyspnea severity in terms of hypoxia.
Hypothesis: The Roth score has correlation with dyspnea severity.
Methods: This is a prospective, controlled-cohort study. Roth score index is measured by having the patient count from 1 to 30 in their native language, in a single breath, as rapidly as possible. The primary result of the Roth score is the duration of time and the highest number reached.
Results: There was a strongly positive correlation between pulse oximetry and both maximal count achieved in 1 breath (r = 0.67; P < 0.001) and counting time (r = 0.59; P < 0.001). For oxygen saturation <95%, the maximal count number area under the curve is 0.828 and counting time area under the curve is 0.764. Counting time >8 seconds had a sensitivity of 78% and specificity of 73% for pulse oximetry <95%.
Conclusions: The Roth score has strong correlation with dyspnea severity as determined by hypoxia. This tool is reproducible, low resource-utilization, and amenable to telemedicine. It is not intended to replace full clinical workup and diagnosis of respiratory distress, but it is useful in risk-stratifying severity of dyspnea that warrants further clinical evaluation.
Keywords: Respiratory Distress; hypoxia; telemedicine.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.