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COPD Health Center

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Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion with Exercise

Modified Borg Scale for Perceived Dyspnea (Shortness of Breath) continued...

Using the RPD scale will help you be aware of how short of breath you are during a specific activity.

As your strength and endurance improve with exercise, you will note that your feelings of being breathless will decrease. In addition, you will note that all daily activities require less energy. Your actions will not be limited by breathlessness.

Modified Borg Rating Scale for Perceived Dyspnea
0 Nothing at all
0.5 Very, very slight shortness of breath
1 Very mild shortness of breath
2 Mild shortness of breath
3 Moderate shortness of breath or breathing difficulty
4 Somewhat severe
5 Strong or hard breathing
6 -
7 Severe shortness of breath or very hard breathing
8 -
9 Extremely severe
10 Shortness of breath so severe you need to stop

If you are in a formal pulmonary rehab program, RPD scores can be compared to the measurement of oxygen during training sessions. This is an effective way to get you to trust your perceptions against the measures taken by oximetry. Small, portable finger oximeters are now available commercially.

However, without any expense to you, the RPD scale can be used to monitor shortness of breath so you can pace activities successfully.

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