Impact of respiratory syncytial virus disease on quality of life in adults aged ≥50 years: A qualitative patient experience cross-sectional study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Influenza and other respiratory viruses




InFLUenza Patient Reported Outcome (FLU-PRO); qualitative research; quality of life; respiratory syncytial virus


BACKGROUND: Information about the impact of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on quality of life in older adults is limited. This study characterized the patient experience of RSV illness in USA older adults and assessed the content validity of the InFLUenza Patient Reported Outcome (FLU-PRO) in this population. METHODS: This qualitative, non-interventional, cross-sectional study included hybrid concept elicitation and cognitive debriefing interviews with 30 individuals (age ≥50 years) with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed RSV diagnosed within 6 months of screening. Targeted literature review was first conducted to inform the development of interview materials. Webcam or telephone interviews were conducted by qualitative researchers using a semistructured interview guide. Interview transcripts were coded and analyzed using Excel and NVivo software. RESULTS: All participants reported impacts on daily activities, social activities, and relationships during RSV disease. Physical functioning was impaired in 25 (83%) participants, and 18 (60%) reported not engaging in leisure activities/hobbies. All nine participants who were working reported major impacts on work. Most (n = 28; 93%) described emotional impacts. A majority (n = 19; 63%) reported symptoms lasting beyond the acute disease stage from a week to >1 month. Symptom concepts reported generally matched FLU-PRO items and domains. Cognitive debriefing indicated that FLU-PRO was easy to understand and captured participants' experiences of RSV illness. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that RSV disease in adults aged ≥50 years in the USA has substantial impacts on daily life and that the concepts included in FLU-PRO are appropriate and fit for purpose as a measure of RSV symptoms in this population.