Subjective assessment of acute mountain sickness: investigating the relationship between the Lake Louise Self-Report, a visual analogue scale and psychological well-being scales

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Abstract

Purpose: There is an ongoing discussion how to assess acute mountain sickness (AMS) in real life conditions. Next to more-item scales with a cut off like the Lake Louise Self-Report (LLS), some authors suggested to use visual analog scales (VAS) to assess AMS. This study tried to contribute to this question using VAS items used for the Subjective Ratings of Drug Effects, including an additional single item for AMS. Furthermore, we investigated if instruments developed to assess psychological well-being might predict AMS assessed via LLS or VAS. Methods: 32 (19 Female) adult persons with known AMS susceptibility filled in questionnaires (Feeling Scale, Felt Arousal Scale, Activation Deactivation Check List, LLS, VAS) at a height of 3650 m above sea level. Results: Correlation and regression analysis suggest a moderate to high relationship between the LLS score and the VAS items, including one VAS item asking for the severity of AMS, as well as psychological well-being. Conclusion: In conclusion, using VAS items to assess AMS can be a more precise alternative to questionnaires like LLS, for people knowledgeable with AMS. Furthermore, researchers should be aware that psychological well-being might be an important parameter influencing the assessment of AMS.

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Frühauf, A., Burtscher, M., Pocecco, E., Faulhaber, M., & Kopp, M. (2016). Subjective assessment of acute mountain sickness: investigating the relationship between the Lake Louise Self-Report, a visual analogue scale and psychological well-being scales. SpringerPlus, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-3313-z

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