0
Original Research: COPD |

Verbal Descriptors of Dyspnea in Patients With COPD at Different Intensity Levels of Dyspnea*

Andreas von Leupoldt, PhD; Susanne Balewski; Sibylle Petersen; Karin Taube, MD; Stephan Schubert-Heukeshoven, MA; Helgo Magnussen, MD; Bernhard Dahme, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Psychology (Drs. von Leupoldt and Dahme, Ms. Balewski, and Ms. Petersen), University of Hamburg, Hamburg; Atem-Reha GmbH (Dr. Taube and Mr. Schubert-Heukeshoven), Hamburg; and Pulmonary Research Institute at Hospital Grosshansdorf (Dr. Magnussen), Grosshansdorf, Germany.

Correspondence to: Andreas von Leupoldt, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 5, 20146 Hamburg, Germany; e-mail: andreas.vonleupoldt@uni-hamburg.de



Chest. 2007;132(1):141-147. doi:10.1378/chest.07-0103
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background: Verbal descriptors of dyspnea are important in understanding the underlying mechanisms, but little is known about the language of dyspnea in COPD. We examined the language of dyspnea in COPD at different intensity levels of dyspnea.

Methods: Verbal descriptors of dyspnea were assessed in 64 patients with moderate-to-severe COPD (mean age, 62 years; mean percentage of predicted FEV1 [FEV1%pred], 54.1%) during slight dyspnea at rest (mean Borg score, 1.8), moderate dyspnea during cycle ergometer exercise (mean Borg score, 3.1) and somewhat severe dyspnea during a 6-min walking test before (mean Borg score, 4.2), and after pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) [mean Borg score, 3.5]. Furthermore, the influence of age, gender, baseline lung function (FEV1%pred), and PR on the verbal descriptors were studied.

Results: A cluster analysis showed that patients differentiated between five clusters of verbal descriptors of dyspnea: heavy/fast breathing, shallow breathing, obstruction, work/effort, and suffocation. These were related to the intensity level of dyspnea but not to age, gender, baseline lung function, or PR. While shallow breathing was predominant only during slight dyspnea at rest, heavy/fast breathing and to a lesser extent work/effort became more important during moderate and somewhat severe dyspnea during exercise. The clusters heavy/fast breathing and work/effort demonstrated the highest sensitivity in discriminating between different intensity levels of dyspnea and in characterizing the positive effects of PR.

Conclusions: Verbal descriptors of dyspnea in COPD are related to the intensity level of dyspnea. The clusters heavy/fast breathing and work/effort seem to be particularly sensitive descriptors of dyspnea during exercise in COPD.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Figures

Tables

References

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

MEMBER & INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER

Want Access?

NEW TO CHEST?

Become a CHEST member and receive a FREE subscription as a benefit of membership.

Individuals can purchase this article on ScienceDirect.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal.

Individuals can purchase a subscription to the journal or buy individual articles.

Learn more about membership or Purchase a Full Subscription.

INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS

Institutional access is now available through ScienceDirect and can be purchased at myelsevier.com.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543