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BMJ Open Respir Res. 2019 Sep 18;6(1):e000418. doi: 10.1136/bmjresp-2019-000418. eCollection 2019.

Clinical validation of the Swedish version of Dyspnoea-12 instrument in outpatients with cardiorespiratory disease.

Author information

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Hans Bornefalk AB, Vallentuna, Sweden.
Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine Solna and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Sciences: Respiratory, Allergy and Sleep Research, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Unit of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Sciences, Lunds Universitet, Lund, Sweden.
Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



Breathlessness is the cardinal symptom in both cardiac and respiratory diseases, and includes multiple dimensions. The multidimensional instrument Dyspnoea-12 has been developed to assess both physical and affective components of breathlessness. This study aimed to perform a clinical validation of the Swedish version of Dyspnoea-12 in outpatients with cardiorespiratory disease.


Stable outpatients with cardiorespiratory disease and self-reported breathlessness in daily life were recruited from five Swedish centres. Assessments of Dyspnoea-12 were performed at baseline, after 30-90 min and after 2 weeks. Factor structure was tested using confirmatory factor analysis and internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha. Test-retest reliability was analysed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Concurrent validity at baseline was evaluated by examining correlations with lung function and several instruments for the assessment of symptoms and health status.


In total, 182 patients were included: with the mean age of 69 years and 53% women. The main causes of breathlessness were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; 25%), asthma (21%), heart failure (19%) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (19%). Factor analysis confirmed the expected underlying two-component structure with two subdomains. The Dyspnoea-12 total score, physical subdomain score and affective subdomain scores showed high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha 0.94, 0.84 and 0.80, respectively) and acceptable reliability after 2 weeks (ICC total scores 0.81, 0.79 and 0.73). Dyspnoea-12 showed concurrent validity with the instruments modified Medical Research Council scale, COPD Assessment Test, European Quality of Life-Five Dimensions-Five levels, the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and with forced expiratory volume in 1 s in percentage of predicted value. The results were consistent across different cardiorespiratory conditions.


The Dyspnoea-12 is a valid instrument for multidimensional assessment of breathlessness in Swedish patients with cardiorespiratory diseases.


COPD; asthma; breathlessness; dyspnoea; heart failure; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; internal consistency, reliability, concurrent validity; multidimensional

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