23 September 2014
The functional work capacity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is usually assessed with walk tests such as the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) or the shuttle test. Because these exercise modalities require a controlled environment which limits their use by pulmonologists and severely restricts their use among general practitioners, different modalities of a short (1 minute or less) sit-to-stand test were recently proposed. In this study, we evaluated a new modality of a semipaced 3-minute chair rise test (3CRT) in 40 patients with COPD, and compared the reproducibility of physiological responses and symptoms during the 3CRT and their interchangeability with the 6MWT. The results demonstrate that physiological variables, heart rate, pulse oxygen saturation, work done, and symptoms (Borg dyspnea and fatigue scores), during the 3CRT were highly reproducible, and that the physiological responses and symptoms obtained during the 3CRT and the 6MWT were interchangeable for most patients. Moreover, these preliminary data suggest that patients able to perform more than 50 rises during 3 minutes had no significant disability. The simplicity and ease of execution of the 3CRT will facilitate the assessment of exercise symptoms and disability in COPD patients during routine consultations with pulmonologists and general practitioners, and will thus contribute to the improved management of COPD patients.