Objective: To validate the use of the 36-item
short-form questionnaire (SF-36) for measuring health-related quality
of life (HRQL) in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Design: Observational data at a single point in
Setting: A specialized outpatient respiratory
Participants: Thirty-four patients
(mean ± SE age, 58.29 ± 1.87 years) with IPF and no significant
comorbidity. A matched control group for HRQL measurements was composed
of 34 normal subjects (mean age, 58.00 ± 1.89 years).
Measurements and results: Dyspnea was measured by the
baseline dyspnea index (BDI). Respiratory function evaluation included
FVC, FEV1, and resting arterial blood gases. IPF patients
showed a mean BDI score of 5.21 ± 0.46. The mean FVC and
FEV1 values were 62.41 ± 2.96% and 66.41 ± 3.33%,
respectively. The mean Pao2 was 67 ± 2.51 mm
Hg, and the mean Paco2 was 37 ± 1.05 mm Hg.
Patients scored significantly worse than control subjects with respect
to the SF-36 domains of physical functioning, physical role, general
health perceptions, vitality, social functioning, emotional role, and
mental health index. BDI scores were significantly correlated with five
SF-36 components, and FVC and FEV1 were significantly
correlated with two SF-36 components. Significant negative correlations
were found between arterial pH and four SF-36 domains.
Conclusions: Patients with IPF have a significant
impairment of HRQL in both physical and psychological functioning.
Dyspnea is the most important factor influencing the quality of life in
these subjects. The SF-36 questionnaire is a valid instrument to
evaluate HRQL in IPF patients.