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      Systematic review of the association between exercise tests and patient-reported outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an increasingly common cause of death worldwide. Its cardinal symptoms include breathlessness and severely reduced exercise capacity. Several patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures are used to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL), functional performance, and breathlessness in patients with COPD. Exercise testing is employed to measure functional performance objectively, which is generally believed to impact on overall HRQoL. However, the extent to which commonly used laboratory- and field-based exercise test results correlate with PROs has not been systematically assessed.

          Materials and methods

          A search of Embase, MedLine, and the Cochrane Library identified primary publications in English that reported data on the correlations (Pearson’s r or Spearman’s ρ) between the outcomes of exercise tests and HRQoL and breathlessness PROs. Studies reporting on the following tests were included: 6-minute walk test (6MWT), 12MWT, incremental and endurance shuttle walk tests, incremental and endurance cycle ergometer tests, and treadmill tests.


          Of 3,205 articles screened, 28 were deemed eligible for inclusion. The most commonly reported HRQoL PRO measure was the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (13 studies), and the most commonly reported breathlessness PRO measure was the Baseline Dyspnea Index (six studies). The St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire appears to correlate very weakly to moderately with the 6MWT, and breathlessness PROs appear to be moderately to strongly associated with 6MWT outcomes. Across all studies, the 6MWT was the most commonly reported exercise test. Very few publications reporting associations between other exercise tests and PRO measures were found.


          This review found evidence to support the association of 6MWT outcomes with HRQoL and breathlessness PROs. There were limited data showing correlations with the outcomes of other exercise tests. Further work is required to examine the associations between these PROs and exercise test outcomes.

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          Most cited references 61

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          EuroQol: the current state of play.

          The EuroQol Group first met in 1987 to test the feasibility of jointly developing a standardised non-disease-specific instrument for describing and valuing health-related quality of life. From the outset the Group has been multi-country, multi-centre, and multi-disciplinary. The EuroQol instrument is intended to complement other forms of quality of life measures, and it has been purposefully developed to generate a cardinal index of health, thus giving it considerable potential for use in economic evaluation. Considerable effort has been invested by the Group in the development and valuation aspects of health status measurement. Earlier work was reported upon in 1990; this paper is a second 'corporate' effort detailing subsequent developments. The concepts underlying the EuroQol framework are explored with particular reference to the generic nature of the instrument. The valuation task is reviewed and some evidence on the methodological requirements for measurement is presented. A number of special issues of considerable interest and concern to the Group are discussed: the modelling of data, the duration of health states and the problems surrounding the state 'dead'. An outline of some of the applications of the EuroQol instrument is presented and a brief commentary on the Group's ongoing programme of work concludes the paper.
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            Development of a shuttle walking test of disability in patients with chronic airways obstruction.

            The aim was to develop a standardised and externally paced field walking test, incorporating an incremental and progressive structure, to assess functional capacity in patients with chronic airways obstruction. The usefulness of two different shuttle walking test protocols was examined in two separate groups of patients. The initial 10 level protocol (group A, n = 10) and a subsequent, modified, 12 level protocol (group B, n = 10) differed in the number of increments and in the speeds of walking. Patients performed three shuttle walking tests one week apart. Then the performance of patients (group C, n = 15) in the six minute walking test was compared with that in the second (modified) shuttle walking test protocol. Heart rate was recorded during all the exercise tests with a short range telemetry device. The 12 level modified protocol provided a measure of functional capacity in patients with a wide range of disability and was reproducible after just one practice walk; the mean difference between trial 2 v 3 was -2.0 (95% CI -21.9 to 17.9) m. There was a significant relation between the distance walked in the six minute walking test and the shuttle walking test (rho = 0.68) but the six minute walking test appeared to overestimate the extent of disability in some patients. The shuttle test provoked a graded cardiovascular response not evident in the six minute test. Moreover, the maximal heart rates attained were significantly higher for the shuttle walking test than for the six minute test. The shuttle walking test constitutes a standardised incremental field walking test that provokes a symptom limited maximal performance. It provides an objective measurement of disability and allows direct comparison of patients' performance.
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              Short form 36 (SF36) health survey questionnaire: normative data for adults of working age.

              To gain population norms for the short form 36 health survey questionnaire (SF36) in a large community sample and to explore the questionnaire's internal consistency and validity. Postal survey by using a booklet containing the SF36 and several other items concerned with lifestyles and illness. The sample was drawn from computerised registers of the family health services authorities for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Oxfordshire. 13,042 randomly selected subjects aged 18-64 years. Scores for the eight health dimensions of the SF36. The survey achieved a response rate of 72% (n = 9332). Internal consistency of the different dimensions of the questionnaire was high. Normative data broken down by age, sex, and social class were consistent with those from previous studies. The SF36 is a potentially valuable tool in medical research. The normative data provided here may further facilitate its validation and use.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                22 August 2017
                : 12
                : 2487-2506
                [1 ]Health Outcomes, GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge
                [2 ]MDC Global Clinical Development UK, Respiratory Research and Development, GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge
                [3 ]Value Evidence and Outcomes, GlaxoSmithKline, Brentford
                [4 ]Centre for Exercise and Rehabilitation Science, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yogesh Suresh Punekar, Health Outcomes, ViiV Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, 980 Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 9GS, UK, Tel +44 208 990 4786, Email yogesh.q.punekar@
                © 2017 Punekar et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.


                Respiratory medicine

                exercise tests, copd, patient-reported outcomes


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