Get access

Design and Use of a Quantitative Scale for Measuring Presyncope


  • The Prevention of Syncope Trial Investigators are listed in the Appendix.

  • This study was funded in part by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

  • Dr. Fouad-Tarazi reports participating in research studies funded by Chelsea Therapeutics, Inc.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Robert S. Sheldon, Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada. Fax: 403-270-0313; E-mail:


Introduction: Vasovagal syncope is common and distressing. One important symptom is presyncope, but there are no clinimetric measures of this. We developed the Calgary Presyncope Form (CPF) and used it to test whether metoprolol reduces presyncope in a randomized trial.

Methods: The CPF captures the frequency, duration, and severity of presyncope. We administered it to participants in the Prevention of Syncope Trial (POST), a randomized clinical trial that tested the hypothesis that metoprolol reduces syncope and presyncope in adult patients with vasovagal syncope.

Results: The CPF was completed by 44 patients on metoprolol and 39 patients on placebo, of a total of 208 subjects. Completion of the CPF for each of the threedimensions was 84–87% in the 83 respondents. Results were centrally distributed in duration and severity dimensions, but not in frequency. Patients had a median of 1.2 presyncopal spells per day, with a median moderate severity, lasting a median 10 minutes. The 3 scales were statistically independent of each other. These results were independent of subject age, and results in all 3 dimensions were stable over the observation period. There was no significant difference between patients on metoprolol and placebo in any dimension.

Conclusion: The 3-dimensional CPF is simple, easy to use, stable over time, measures 3 independent variables, and documents that metoprolol does not reduce presyncope.