In outpatients with stable cardiorespiratory disease and breathlessness, the recently developed Multidimensional Dyspnea Profile (MDP) is a valid tool for measuring unpleasantness or discomfort of breathing, study results published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research suggest.

Stable outpatients with cardiorespiratory disease and breathlessness were recruited from 5 Swedish outpatient clinics (n=182). Patients completed a baseline questionnaire on demographics and smoking history. The MDP was used to assess breathlessness at baseline, after 30 to 90 minutes, and at 2 weeks. Patients self-rated MDP and change in breathlessness at 30 to 120 minutes following completion of the first questionnaire. During this time, patients rated changes on a 7-point ordinal scale (the Global Impression of Change).

Investigators calculated moderate to high internal consistency for the MDP total score (Cronbach alpha=0.933) as well as the immediate perception (Cronbach alpha=0.829) and emotional response (Cronbach alpha=0.798) domains. There was also moderate to high test-retest reliability for the MDP total and subdomain scores. Additionally, the investigators found no evidence for a learning effect. The test-retest reliability at 30 to 90 minutes and at 2 weeks ranged from an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.67 to 0.91.

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Limitations of the study included the small sample size, the recruitment of only outpatients, and the inclusion of only patients who speak and understand Swedish.

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“Standardized multidimensional symptom measurement using MDP could be of fundamental importance for improved research and clinical care of patients suffering from breathlessness,” the researchers concluded.


Ekström M, Bornefalk H, Sköld M, et al. Validation of the Swedish multidimensional dyspnea profile (MDP) in outpatients with cardiorespiratory disease. BMJ Open Respir Res. 2019;6:e000381.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor