Researchers developed a new questionnaire to measure quality of life in patients diagnosed with fibrotic idiopathic interstitial pneumonia such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP).

The new tool, named “Quality of life in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis” (QPF), was able to detect deterioration in health status from the patient’s and doctorʼs perspectives. This deterioration was observed on the scales “impairment,” “shortness of breath,” “cough,” and “health status.”

Moreover, the QPF detected alterations in patients’ moods during treatment. This change was observed on the “condition” scale.

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The study authors stated, “Item analysis revealed that most of Cronbach alpha and selectivity values of QPF-scales could be considered as sufficient (eg, QPF-scale “condition” [alpha=0.827], “impairment” [alpha=0.882]).”

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However, some items were revealed as problematic, resulting in a readaptation of the questionnaire to a smaller version composed of 5 scales with 23 items. This updated version requires further validation.

Patients (IPF=190, NSIP=10) filled in the questionnaire at 2 time points with an interval of 6 months. Kirsten et al used the St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), which was originally developed for patients with obstructive pulmonary diseases, to validate their newly developed questionnaire. They found moderate correlations between the 2 questionnaires.

The QPF covers all of the important aspects concerning quality of life in patients with fibrotic idiopathic interstitial pneumonias. It can be applied not only to assess quality of life, but also to supplement medical history and monitor the progression of pulmonary fibrosis from the patient’s perspective.

After proper validation of the QPF updated version, the researchers are confident that it could be used in both clinical trial and clinical practice settings.


Kirsten D, de Vries U, Costabel U, et al. A new tool to assess quality of life in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or non-specific interstitial pneumonia. Pneumologie. Published online September 14, 2021. doi:10.1055/a-1579-7618