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The Borg Scale Is Accurate in Children and Adolescents Older Than 9 Years With Cystic Fibrosis

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy of the modified Borg scale to estimate lung impairment, measured via FEV1 in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis. METHODS: This cross-sectional prospective study was conducted with cystic fibrosis patients, 6‐18 y old. With the modified Borg scale we evaluated their subjective perceptions of dyspnea before and after submaximal exercises, and its correlation with lung function (spirometry), 6-min walk test (6MWT), and nutritional status according to body mass index. RESULTS: Forty-one patients (mean ± SD age range 11.1 ± 4.1 y), were included in the study. The median (and interquartile range) modified Borg scale score after 6MWT was 2 (1‐3). The mean percent-of-predicted FEV1 (FEV1%) was 97 ± 32%. The Z score of the 6MWT distance (6MWTZ) for 61% of the patients was ≤ −2. The modified Borg scale correlated weakly with the other variables when all patients in the sample were analyzed. There was a significantly greater correlation of the Borg-scale score with FEV1% (r = −0.59, P = .003) and with 6MWTZ (r = 0.46, P = .03) when patients older than 9 years were evaluated separately. The receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that a modified-Borg-scale cut-off point of 2.5 generated an area of 0.80, a sensitivity of 80%, a specificity of 77%, and an accuracy of 0.78 to predict FEV1% lower than 80% in the group of patients older than 9 years. CONCLUSIONS: The modified Borg scale is accurate to assess the subjective perception of dyspnea of children older than 9 years and adolescents with cystic fibrosis.

Keywords: 6-minute walk test; adolescents; children; cystic fibrosis; lung function testing; modified Borg scale

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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