Assessment of dyspnea in asthma: Validation of the dyspnea-12

Janelle Yorke, Anne Marie Russell, Jeff Swigris, Caroline Shuldham, Carol Haigh, Nikki Rochnia, Jennifer Hoyle, Paul W. Jones

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Dyspnea is a prominent symptom in asthma. The Dyspnea-12 (D-12), an instrument that quantifies breathlessness using 12 descriptors that tap the physical and affective aspects, has shown promise for the measurement of dyspnea in cardiorespiratory disease. Objective. We report the results of a study designed to test the validity and reliability of the D-12 in a population of patients with asthma. Methods. This cross-sectional study included 102 patients with asthma. Subjects completed the D-12, Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, St. George''s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and Medical Research Council scale. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the two-component structure of the D-12 (i.e., seven items that tap the physical aspects of breathlessness and five items that tap the affective aspects). Results. The D-12 subscales had excellent internal reliability (Cronbach''s alpha for the "physical" score was 0.94 and the affective score was 0.95). The D-12 physical component was more strongly correlated with SGRQ Symptoms (r = 0.648), SGRQ Activities (r = 0.635) and Medical Research Council grade (r = 0.636), while the affective component was more strongly correlated with SGRQ Impacts (r = 0.765) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale scores (anxiety r = 0.641 and depression r = 0.602). Conclusion. This study supports validity of the D-12 for use in the assessment of dyspnea of patients with asthma. It assesses one of the most pertinent symptoms of asthma from two viewpoints-physical and affective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-608
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adults
  • Asthma
  • Dyspnea
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • Quality of life
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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