Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical community urgently needs a new way to evaluate patients with shortness of breath when in-person assessments are not possible. Our study aims to investigate a new clinical test that could be used virtually and see if it may correlate with important information like oxygen levels in the blood and risk of hospitalization.

Are you a:

Research Participant

Health Care Provider




Research Participants


The medical community urgently needs a new way to evaluate patients with shortness of breath over virtual care when in-person physical examinations are not possible.

A 2016 study identified a new method for assessing shortness of breath by having the patient counting from 1 to 30 in one breath as fast as they can. However, this new method has NOT been proven to be safe.

Our study aims to investigate this new method and see how it may be related to important clinical information like oxygen level in the blood, hospitalization, etc.



What are the objectives of this study?
1. To investigate the relationship between a new clinical test, the Roth Score, to established measurements of dyspnea and patient-oriented outcomes.
2. To aid primary care decision making, especially in virtual settings.
What is the Roth Score?

The Roth Score is a new clinical test that assesses shortness of breath; the identified patient counts from 1 to 30 (or as high as possible) in a single breath. Learn more information on the Roth Score in this video:

What is the Dyspnea?
Fancy medical jargon for shortness of breath.
Who qualifies for this study?
Any adult (18 years of age) who is experiencing shortness of breath, seeks medical attention for any reason and is able to provide consent

How can I participate in this study?
  • Review the Consent Form
  • Self-refer within 2 hours of your oxygen saturation (SpO2) reading by texting your phone number to (236) 563-2487 OR call and leave a message
  • A research assistant will contact you by phone within 2 hours
  • You can then continue your participation using your phone or log onto a virtual care application (i.e. doxy.me) using the following method: 



Download Information Sheet for Participants

Download Informed Consent Form 




Health Care Providers / Staff


As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing proportion of primary care is delivered virtually.

➤ There has been an urgent need for clinical tools to assess the patient objectively in place of in-person physical examinations.

➤ A 2016 study identified a novel method for assessing dyspnea using the “Roth Score” that has been suggested by some physicians as a potential tool to virtually evaluate patients.

➤ The Roth Score has been controversial and is currently NOT recommended for use in the primary care setting by experts due to concern for inadequate evidence supporting its use.

However, it warrants further study as part of an overall virtual health assessment for dyspnea.



1) Help us recruit participants by referring to us any patients you see IN PERSON with dyspnea due to a potential respiratory etiology (e.g. infection, COPDE).

2) Note down the SpO2 and time it was taken on the Participant Information Sheet and provide the information sheet to your patient to self-refer to the study.

3) Optional: note down the highest number your patient can count up to in one breath. See the Roth Score demonstration above.

3) Provide a copy of the Participant Informed Consent Form for the patient to read.

4) Our research team will take care of the rest including obtaining the full research consent.


Download Information Sheet for Clinics 

Interested? Contact our Team


Principal Investigator: Dr. Tung Siu
Phone Number: (236) 562-2487
Email: tung.siu@viha.ca