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      The use of the practice walk test in pulmonary rehabilitation program: National COPD Audit Pulmonary Rehabilitation Workstream

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          Our aim was to evaluate the use and impact of the practice walk test on enrolment, completion, and clinical functional response to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) using the 2015 UK National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Pulmonary Rehabilitation audit data. Patients were assessed according to whether a baseline practice walk test was performed or not. Study outcomes included use of the practice walk test, baseline and change in incremental shuttle walk test distance (ISWD) or 6-minute walk test distance (6MWD), and enrolment to and completion of PR program. Of 7,355 patients, only 1,666 (22.6%) had a baseline practice test. At baseline, the practice walk test group walked further as compared to the no practice walk test group: ISWD, 17.9 m [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.2–27.5 m] and 6MWD, 34.8 m (95% CI 24.7–44.9 m). The practice walk test group were 2.2 times (95% CI 1.8–2.6) more likely to enroll and 17% (95% CI 1.03–1.34) more likely to complete PR. Although the change in ISWD and 6MWD with PR was lower in the practice walk test group, they walked further at discharge assessment. Only 22.6% of the patients in the 2015 National PR audit had a practice walk test at assessment. Those who did had better enrolment, completion, and better baseline walking distance, from which the prescription is set.

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          Minimum clinically important improvement for the incremental shuttle walking test.

          The incremental shuttle walking test (ISWT) is used to assess exercise capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is employed as an outcome measure for pulmonary rehabilitation. This study was designed to establish the minimum clinically important difference for the ISWT. 372 patients (205 men) performed an ISWT before and after a 7-week outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programme. After completing the course, subjects were asked to identify, from a 5-point Likert scale, the perceived change in their exercise performance immediately upon completion of the ISWT. The scale ranged from "better" to "worse". The mean (SD) age was 69.4 (8.4) years, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) 1.06 (0.53) l and FEV(1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio 50.8 (18.1)%. The baseline shuttle walking test distance was 168.5 (114.6) m which increased to 234.7 (125.3) m after rehabilitation (mean difference 65.9 m (95% CI 58.9 to 72.9)). In subjects who felt their exercise tolerance was "slightly better" the mean improvement was 47.5 m (95% CI 38.6 to 56.5) compared with 78.7 m (95% CI 70.5 to 86.9) in those who reported that their exercise tolerance was "better" and 18.0 m (95% CI 4.5 to 31.5) in those who felt their exercise tolerance was "about the same". Two levels of improvement were identified. The minimum clinically important improvement for the ISWT is 47.5 m. In addition, patients were able to distinguish an additional benefit at 78.7 m.
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            Six-minute walk distance in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: reproducibility and effect of walking course layout and length.

            The 6-minute walk test is used in clinical practice and clinical trials of lung diseases; however, it is not clear whether replicate tests need to be performed to assess performance. Furthermore, little is known about the impact of walking course layout on test performance. We conducted 6-minute walks on 761 patients with severe emphysema (mean +/- SD FEV1% predicted = 26.3 +/- 7.2) who were participants in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial. Four hundred seventy participants had repeated walks on a separate day. The second test was improved by an average of 7.0 +/- 15.2% (66.1 +/- 146 feet, p < 0.0001, by paired t test), with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.88 between days. The course layout had an effect on the distance walked. Participants tested on continuous (circular or oval) courses had a 92.2-foot longer walking distance than those tested on straight (out and back) courses. Course length had no significant effect on walking distance. The training effect found in these patients with severe emphysema is less than in previous reports of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Furthermore, the layout of the track may influence the 6-minute walk performance.
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              Practical recommendations for exercise training in patients with COPD.

              The aim of this article was to provide practical recommendations to healthcare professionals interested in offering a pulmonary rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The latest research findings were brought together and translated into clinical practice. These recommendations focus on the description of useful assessment tests and of the most common exercise modalities for patients with COPD. We provide specific details on the rationale of why and especially how to implement exercise training in patients with COPD, including the prescription of training mode, intensity and duration, as well as suggestions of guidelines for training progression.

                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
                08 September 2017
                : 12
                : 2681-2686
                [1 ]Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre
                [2 ]Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham
                [3 ]Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit, Institute for Lung Health, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester
                [4 ]Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Charlotte E Bolton, Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottingham, Clinical Sciences Building, City Hospital NUH Trust Campus, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK, Tel +44 115 823 1710, Email charlotte.bolton@
                © 2017 Hakamy 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.

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