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Prediction of peak oxygen consumption from the ratings of perceived exertion during a graded exercise test and ramp exercise test in able-bodied participants and paraplegic persons

Harran Q Al-Rahamneh, Roger G Eston
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2011, 92 (2): 277-83
21272725

OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of predicting peak oxygen consumption (Vo(2)peak) from a graded exercise test (GXT) and a ramp exercise test during arm exercise in able-bodied persons and persons with paraplegia using ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs).

DESIGN: Each participant performed a GXT (started at 30W and increased by 15W every 2min) and a ramp exercise test (started at 0W and increased by 15W·min(-1)).

SETTING: Universities' laboratories.

PARTICIPANTS: Able-bodied men (n=13; mean ± SD, 27.2±4.3y) and men with paraplegia (n=12; 31.1±5.7y). Six of the persons with paraplegia had flaccid paralysis as a result of poliomyelitis infection. The other 6 persons had complete spinal cord injuries with neurologic levels at and below T6.

INTERVENTION: Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prediction of Vo(2)peak by extrapolating submaximal oxygen consumption (Vo(2)) and RPE values to RPE 20 on the Borg 6 to 20 RPE scale.

RESULTS: This study showed a very strong linear relationship between RPE and Vo(2) during the GXT and the ramp test for able-bodied persons (R(2)≥.95 and R(2)≥.96, respectively) and persons with paraplegia (R(2)≥.96 and R(2)≥.95, respectively). There was no significant difference between measured and predicted Vo(2)peak from RPEs before and including RPE 13, 15, and 17 during the GXT for persons with paraplegia (P>.05). For the able-bodied participants, there was no significant difference between measured and predicted Vo(2)peak from RPEs before and including RPE 15 and 17 during the ramp exercise test (P>.05).

CONCLUSION: The GXT provided acceptable predictions of Vo(2)peak for persons with paraplegia, and the ramp test provided acceptable predictions of Vo(2)peak for able-bodied persons.

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