The University of California, San Diego Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (UCSDSOBQ) is a frequently used domain-specific dyspnea questionnaire; however, there is little information available regarding its use and minimum important difference (MID) in fibrotic interstitial lung disease (ILD). We aimed to describe the key performance characteristics of the UCSDSOBQ in this population.
UCSDSOBQ scores and selected anchors were measured in 1933 patients from the prospective multi-center Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Anchors included the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), European Quality of Life 5 Dimensions 5 Levels questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) and EQ visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS), percent-predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%), diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO%), and 6-min walk distance (6MWD). Concurrent validity, internal consistency, ceiling and floor effects, and responsiveness were assessed, followed by estimation of the MID by anchor-based (linear regression) and distribution-based methods (standard error of measurement).
The UCSDSOBQ had a high level of internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.97), no obvious floor or ceiling effect, strong correlations with SGRQ, EQ-5D-5L, and EQ-VAS (|r| > 0.5), and moderate correlations with FVC%, DLCO%, and 6MWD (0.3 < |r| < 0.5). The MID estimate for UCSDSOBQ was 5 points (1–8) for the anchor-based method, and 4.5 points for the distribution-based method.
This study demonstrates the validity of UCSDSOBQ in a large and heterogeneous population of patients with fibrotic ILD, and provides a robust MID estimate of 5–8 points.