Evaluating the need for two incremental shuttle walk tests during a maintenance exercise program in people with COPD

Lissa M Spencer, Jennifer A Alison, Zoe J McKeough
Physiotherapy 2014, 100 (2): 123-7

OBJECTIVE: To determine if there was an increase in walk distance when two incremental shuttle walk tests (ISWTs) were performed at the commencement of a maintenance exercise program (0 month) and at three, six and 12-month assessments.

DESIGN: A prospective, longitudinal, repeated measures study in COPD.

SETTING: Single site, hospital outpatient physiotherapy department.

PARTICIPANTS: Forty-eight participants (22 males) with COPD participated in the study: [baseline characteristics: mean (SD): FEV1 59 (19) % predicted; age 65 (8) years; BMI 26 (6) (kg/m(2))].

INTERVENTION: Participants completed two ISWTs at zero, three, six and twelve months.

OUTCOMES: Incremental shuttle walk distance (ISWD).

RESULTS: There was a significant increase in walk distance between two ISWTs at zero month (17 metres (95% CI: 7 to 26) and three months (18 metres (95% CI: 6 to 30), but not at six or 12 months.

CONCLUSION: The increase in walk distance when a second ISWT was performed at zero and three months indicates the need to perform two ISWTs when participants are naïve to the test and at the three-month reassessment during a 12-month maintenance exercise program.

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