The Juniper Quality of Life (QOL) questionnaire is the standard used for assessing dyspnea in asthma patients. It consists of 7 questions, 6 subjective and one objective (spirometry)in nature. Each data point is scored in a range of 0-6 with the overall score expressed as the average of all questions. While this provides useful information, we propose scoring the questionnaire differently, looking at the objective versus the subjective scores. We believe this will predict a population of “poor perceivers” or patients who unreliably judge the severity of their asthma.
A retrospective chart review of patient records from our Asthma Clinic. Patients included had ICD 9 codes for asthma and were over the age of 18. Data was abstraced from the Juniper QOL questionnaire looking at the difference between the average score on the 6 subjective questions and the objective (spirometry)score.
Of 100 charts reviewed, 97 had completed QOL questionnaires. Subjective scores were greater than objective scores by more than one data point in 28 (28.9%) of patients. Subjective and objective scores were matched within one data point in 23 (23.7%) of patients. Subjective scores were lower than objective scores by more than one data point in 46 (47%) of patients.
This adjusted QOL scoring reveals that the majority of asthma patients’ perception of dyspnea does not correlate with their spirometric data.
Patients with poor perception of dyspnea need further education to better judge the severity of their asthma.
R.L. Shriver, None.