Breathlessness during daily activity: The psychometric properties of the London Chest Activity of Daily Living Scale in patients with advanced disease and refractory breathlessness

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Abstract

Background:

The London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale measures the impact of breathlessness on both activity and social functioning. However, the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale is not routinely used in patients with advanced disease.

Aim:

To assess the psychometric properties of the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale in patients with refractory breathlessness due to advanced disease.

Design:

A cross-sectional secondary analysis of data from a randomised controlled parallel-group, pragmatic, single-blind fast-track trial (randomised controlled trial) investigating the effectiveness of an integrated palliative and respiratory care service for patients with advanced disease and refractory breathlessness, known as the Breathlessness Support Service (NCT01165034). All patients completed the following questionnaires: the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale, Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire, the Palliative care Outcome Scale, Palliative care Outcome Scale–symptoms, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and breathlessness measured on a numerical rating scale. Data quality, scaling assumptions, acceptability, internal consistency and construct validity of the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale were determined using standard psychometric approaches.

Setting/participants:

Breathless patients with advanced malignant and non-malignant disease.

Results:

A total of 88 patients were studied, primary diagnosis included; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease = 53, interstitial lung disease = 17, cancer = 18. Median (range) London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale total score was 46.5 (14–67). No floor or ceiling effect was observed for the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale total score. Internal consistency was good, and Cronbach’s alpha for the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale total score was 0.90. Construct validity was good with 13 out of 15 a priori hypotheses met.

Conclusion:

Psychometric analyses suggest that the London Chest Activities of Daily Living Scale is acceptable, reliable and valid in patients with advanced disease and refractory breathlessness.

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