Table 2

Frequency of use of shortness of breath codes in the year before diagnosis with lung cancer

medcodeDescriptionFrequencyPer centCumulative %Certainty variable*
4822Shortness of breath322624.6424.640
741[D]Shortness of breath145511.1135.760
19 427MRC Breathlessness Scale: grade 211068.4552.730
19 426MRC Breathlessness Scale: grade 310107.7260.450
5349Shortness of breath symptom8166.2366.680
5175Breathlessness symptom7856.0072.680
19 430MRC Breathlessness Scale: grade 47645.8478.510
5896Dyspnoea – symptom4373.3481.850
2575Short of breath on exertion4153.1785.020
19 432MRC Breathlessness Scale: grade 13322.5490.570
6326Breathless – moderate exertion2611.9992.570
19 429MRC Breathlessness Scale: grade 51891.4494.010
2931Difficulty breathing1871.4395.440
12 474SOBOE1661.2796.710
7932Breathless – mild exertion1421.0897.790
7000O/E – dyspnoea490.3798.670
57 903CLASP shortness of breath score440.3499.010
31 143Breathless – at rest390.3099.300
7683Breathless – lying flat220.1799.470
6434Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea190.1599.620
21 801Breathlessness NOS100.0899.690
11 451[D]Orthopnoea90.0799.760
9089Orthopnoea symptom80.0699.820
24 889Breathless – strenuous exertion50.0499.860
7534O/E – respiratory distress40.0399.891
18 116Nocturnal dyspnoea30.0299.920
2563Adult respiratory distress syndrome20.0299.931
2737Dyspnoea on exertion20.0299.951
24 848Respiratory distress syndrome20.0299.961
53 771[D]Respiratory distress20.0299.980
22 094Borg Breathlessness Score: 10 maximal10.0199.980
59 860Borg Breathlessness Score: 4 somewhat.10.0199.990
101 843Short of breath dressing/undressing10.01100.000
9297[D]Respiratory insufficiency00100.001
37 704O/E – orthopnoea00100.000
42 287Borg Breathlessness Score: 6 severe (+)00100.000
57 193Borg Breathlessness Score: 3 moderate00100.000
57 678Adult respiratory distress syndrome00100.000
57 759Borg Breathlessness Score: 2 slight00100.000
60 096CLASP shortness of breath score00100.000
64 049Borg Breathlessness Score: 5 severe00100.000
67 566Borg Breathlessness Score: 9 very, very sev (almost maximal)00100.000
68 707Borg Breathlessness Score: 1 very slight00100.000
70 061Borg Breathlessness Score: 7 very severe00100.000
70 818Borg Breathlessness Score: 0.5 very, very slight00100.000
72 334Borg Breathlessness Score: 8 very severe (+)00100.000
TotalTotal13 091100.00100.00
  • *The ‘certainty variable’ is coded as: 0=‘minimal uncertainty’ (all panel members agreed the code should be included in the list); 1=‘moderate uncertainty’ (at least one panel member was uncertain that the code should be included); 2=‘Maximal Uncertainty’ (at least one panel member thought the code should be excluded).

  • [D] terms are defined in the Read thesaurus as ’Symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions'; CLASP, cardiovascular limitations and symptoms profile; MRC, medical research council; NOS, not otherwise specified; O/E, on examination; SOBOE, shortness of breath on exertion.