Multidimensional assessment of dyspnea
dyspnoea is a subjective experience that includes interactions of various physical, psychological, social, and environmental factors that influence the person's perception of the symptom. This chapter focuses on the multidimensional assessment of dyspnoea. Assessment of this symptom involves clinical assessment and measurement of the different factors that influence the perception of breathlessness and which impact on the breathing mechanisms of a person. Clinical assessments are designed to determine the underlying pathophysiology to pinpoint appropriate treatment and to evaluate response to therapy. Measurement tools meanwhile are used to bring objectivity and accuracy to the evaluation of the clinical assessments, interventions, and clinical researches. Among the clinical assessment methods discussed herein are: clinical history of the symptom; physical examination; laboratory examinations; and determining the qualitative dimensions of dyspnoea. Measurement of dyspnoea includes: unidimensional scales (Borg scale, numeric rating scale, Breathlessness, Cough and Sputum Scale (BCSS)); multidimensional indirect scales (Baseline/Transitional dyspnoea Index (BDI/TDI), Pulmonary Functional Status Scale (PFSS)); and disease specific scales (chronic respiratory questionnaire (CRQ), Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ)).
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