Assessment of dyspnoea in the emergency department by numeric and visual scales: A pilot study

Assessment of dyspnoea in the emergency department by numeric and visual scales: A pilot study

Rui Placido a,b, Carine Gigaud c, Etienne Gayat a,d, Axelle Ferry d, Alain Cohen-Solal a,e,f, Patrick Plaisance a,e,g, Alexandre Mebazaa a,d,e, Said Laribi a,*,g  . Anaesth Crit Care Pain Med 34 (2015) 95–99.

Source: a INSERM, unit 942, biomarkers in cardioneurovascular diseases, AP–HP, groupe hospitalier Saint-Louis-Lariboisière, department of emergency medicine, 2, rue Ambroise-Paré, 75475 Paris cedex 10, France ; b Hospital Santa Maria, Serv Cardiologia I, Lisbon academic medical centre, CCUL, Lisbon, Portugal ; c Master 2 AIV, centre for research and interdisciplinarity, Paris, France ; d AP–HP, groupe hospitalier Saint-Louis-Lariboisière, department of anaesthesiology and critical care, 75010 Paris, France ; e University Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 75010 Paris, France ; f AP–HP, groupe hospitalier Saint-Louis-Lariboisière, department of cardiology, 75010 Paris, France ; g AP–HP, groupe hospitalier Saint-Louis-Lariboisière, emergency department, 75010 Paris, France.

ABSTRACT: Objective(s): Dyspnoea is a common and often debilitating symptom that affects up to 50% of patients admitted to acute tertiary care hospitals. The primary purpose of this study was to compare the numeric rating scale (NRS) and the visual analogue scale (VAS) for dyspnoea evaluation in the ED setting. Study design and patients: This was a cohort study of patients admitted to the ED in a university hospital, with dyspnoea as the chief complaint. Methods: The agreement of the two dyspnoea scales was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Results: One hundred and seventeen patients were included in this analysis. The median age for the whole study population was 67 years and 42% of patients were male. The aetiology of dyspnoea was acute heart failure (AHF) in 35% of patients. There was good agreement between the two scores (ICC = 0.795; 95% CI = 0.717–0.853; P < 0.001). Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated that numerical rating and visual analogue scales agree well when assessing the severity of dyspnoea in the ED. Further studies with larger cohorts of patients are needed to confirm these preliminary results.