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Comparison of a visual analogue scale and Lake Louise symptom scores for acute mountain sickness

Aliverti, Andrea
Pellegrino, Riccardo
Dellaca, Raffaele
Quaranta, Marco
Pompilio, Pasquale
Miserocchi, Giuseppe
Cogo, Annalisa
Published in High Altitude Medicine and Biology. 2010, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 69-72
Abstract Assessment of the presence and severity of acute mountain sickness (AMS) is based on subjective reporting of the sensation of symptoms. The Lake Louise symptom scoring system (LLS) uses categorical variables to rate the intensity of AMS-related symptoms (headache, gastrointestinal distress, dizziness, fatigue, sleep quality) on 4-point ordinal scales; the sum of the answers is the LLS self-score (range 0-15). Recent publications indicate a potential for a visual analogue scale (VAS) to quantify AMS. We tested the hypothesis that overall and single-item VAS and LLS scores scale linearly. We asked 14 unacclimatized male subjects [age 41 (14), mean (SD) yr; height 176 (3) cm; weight 75 (9) kg] who spent 2 days at 3647 m and 4 days at 4560 m to fill out LLS questionnaires, with a VAS for each item (i) and a VAS for the overall (o) sensation of AMS, twice a day (n = 172). Even though correlated (r = 0.84), the relationship between LLS(o) and VAS(o) was distorted, showing a threshold effect for LLS(o) scores below 5, with most VAS(o) scores on one side of the identity line. Similar threshold effects were seen for the LLS(i) and VAS(i) scores. These findings indicate nonlinear scaling characteristics that render difficult a direct comparison of studies done with either VAS or LLS alone.
Keywords AdultAltitude Sickness/complicationsHeadache/etiologyHumansMaleSeverity of Illness Index
PMID: 20367491
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Research group Groupe Kayser Bengt (médecine du sport) (306)
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KAYSER, Bengt E. et al. Comparison of a visual analogue scale and Lake Louise symptom scores for acute mountain sickness. In: High Altitude Medicine and Biology, 2010, vol. 11, n° 1, p. 69-72. doi: 10.1089/ham.2009.1046 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:24997

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Deposited on : 2013-01-04

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