Validation of a new dyspnea measure: the UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire. University of California, San Diego

Chest. 1998 Mar;113(3):619-24. doi: 10.1378/chest.113.3.619.


Objective: Evaluate the reliability and validity of a new version of the University of California, San Diego Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ), a 24-item measure that assesses self-reported shortness of breath while performing a variety of activities of daily living.

Design: PATIENTS enrolled in a pulmonary rehabilitation program were asked to complete the SOBQ, the Quality of Well-Being Scale, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and a 6-min walk with modified Borg scale ratings of perceived breathlessness following the walk.

Setting: University medical center pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Patients: Thirty-two male subjects and 22 female subjects with a variety of pulmonary diagnoses: COPD (n=28), cystic fibrosis (n=9), and postlung transplant (n=17).

Measurements and results: The current version of the SOBQ was compared with the previous version, the format of which often resulted in a significant number of "not applicable" answers. The results demonstrated that the SOBQ had excellent internal consistency (alpha=0.96). The SOBQ was also significantly correlated with all validity criteria.

Conclusions: The SOBQ is a valuable assessment tool in both clinical practice and research in patients with moderate-to-severe lung disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / rehabilitation
  • Dyspnea / diagnosis*
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / rehabilitation
  • Lung Transplantation / physiology
  • Lung Transplantation / rehabilitation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*