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The Primary Care Respiratory Society

Inspiring best practice in respiratory care


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The Primary Care Respiratory Society

Inspiring best practice in respiratory care

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This website is for healthcare professionals only

MRC Dyspnoea Scale

MRC Dyspnoea Scale
Grade Degree of breathlessness related to activity
1 Not troubled by breathless except on strenuous exercise
2 Short of breath when hurrying on a level or when walking up a slight hill
3 Walks slower than most people on the level, stops after a mile or so, or stops after 15 minutes walking at own pace
4 Stops for breath after walking 100 yards, or after a few minutes on level ground
5 Too breathless to leave the house, or breathless when dressing/undressing

Used with the permission of the Medical Research Council (https://mrc.ukri.org/research/facilities-and-resources-for-researchers/mrc-scales/mrc-dyspnoea-scale-mrc-breathlessness-scale/

Adapted from Fletcher CM. The clinical diagnosis of pulmonary emphysema—an experimental study. Proc R Soc Med 1952;45:577–584.

There is also a modified MRC Scale which is used in the GOLD guidelines and BODE - see Fletcher CM. Standardised questionnaire on respiratory symptoms: a statement prepared and approved by the MRC Committee on the Aetiology of Chronic Bronchitis (MRC breathlessness score). BMJ 1960; 2: 1662.