Assessment of the psychometric properties of an English version of the cancer dyspnea scale in people with advanced lung cancer

Hope Uronis, Rebecca Shelby, David Currow, Sam Ahmedzai, Hayden Bosworth, April Coan, Amy Abernethy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Context: Dyspnea is a poorly understood subjective sensation. Existing dyspnea measures fail to adequately address its multidimensionality. A Japanese group developed and validated the Cancer Dyspnea Scale (CDS) for assessing dyspnea in patients with advanced lung cancer. Objectives: We evaluated the validity and reliability of the English version of the CDS (CDS-E) that has 12 items and takes, on average, 140 seconds for individuals to complete. Methods: Eligible patients had advanced lung cancer, consented, and were fluent in English. Participants completed a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS), the modified Borg scale, the CDS-E, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - Lung quality-of-life scale. Demographic, radiographic, and treatment information were obtained from patients' medical records. Results: One hundred twelve participants were enrolled at three sites in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. Mean age was 64.5 years (SD 11.5); 90% were Caucasian, 68% had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1, and 50% had non-small cell carcinoma. All completed the CDS-E independently, without difficulty. The CDS-E had reasonable internal consistency overall (Cronbach's α = 0.71) and for each of the three factors (effort, anxiety, discomfort Cronbach's α = 0.80-0.84). CDS-E scores were significantly correlated with the 100 mm VAS (r = 0.82; P < 0.001) and the modified Borg (r = 0.87; P < 0.001). After factor analysis, the CDS-E was revised by removing three items (r-CDS-E). Conclusion: The CDS-E and r-CDS-E are reliable and valid measures of the sensation and the psychological components of dyspnea, with the shorter version having similar psychometric properties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)741-749
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


    • Cancer Dyspnea Scale
    • Dyspnea (MeSH)
    • lung neoplasms (MeSH)
    • reproducibility of results (MeSH)
    • symptom measurement


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