PLoS One. 2023 Jan 5;18(1):e0280058. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280058. eCollection 2023.
BACKGROUND: Motion sickness is characterized by nausea and vomiting among a constellation of symptoms. Symptom severity is dynamic and distressing. Most validated motion sickness scales are time-intensive and effortful, with alternative scales having uncertain performance or non-specific measures. A validated instrument allowing for facile, rapid assessment of core motion sickness symptom severity would therefore be valuable. We assessed the performance of the Motion Sickness Severity Scale (MSSS), a six-item questionnaire designed to measure real-time motion sickness symptoms.
METHODS: MSSS construct validity was assessed as a secondary analysis of data from 63 healthy participants without antiemetic treatment in a clinical trial (Unique Identifier = NCT03772340) conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Tradipitant-a novel neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist-in the treatment of motion sickness. Clinical outcome assessments included the MSSS, the Patient Global Impression of Severity (PGI-S), and the Motion Sickness Assessment Questionnaire (MSAQ). The performance of the MSSS through Pearson correlation coefficients, within-group analysis of variance, empirical cumulative distribution functions, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests.
RESULTS: The MSSS correlated very highly with the PGI-S (r = 0.93, p-value<0.0001) and highly with the MSAQ (r = 0.83, p-value<0.0001). Mean MSSS scores between increasing PGI-S severity levels increased significantly in all four increments (None-to-Mild: p-value = 0.006, Mild-to-Moderate: p-value<0.0001, Moderate-to-Severe: p-value = 0.006, Severe-to-Very-Severe: p-value = 0.002). There were statistically significant differences in MSSS score distributions stratified by PGI-S severity level, with higher MSSS scores associated with higher PGI-S severity levels and lower MSSS scores associated with lower PGI-S severity levels.
DISCUSSION: The MSSS is a valid instrument for the assessment of the core motion sickness symptoms and is reflective of global disease severity. Implementation of the MSSS and comparable simplified, short questionnaires in motion sickness research will provide rapid and accurate measures of disease severity. These measures will enable further elucidation of motion sickness as an illness and inform the development and evaluation of motion sickness therapies.