The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1998 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

PULMONARY REHABILITATION EXERCISE TESTING FOR EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION

R. STEVEN WHITE, M.D.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation has been established as an integral component in the standard of care for the patient with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. All rehabilitation programs should provide accurate exercise prescription and supervision to achieve optimal improvement in functional capacity in their patients. Principles of exercise testing and training have long been established for normal people, but it is clear that these principles differ somewhat for patients with chronic lung disease. Although some controversy persists, there is a growing consensus that the more severely impaired pulmonary patient benefits from a training regimen with a target intensity at or near the maximum work rate achieved during baseline exercise testing.

The six minute, self limited walk test is frequently used to assess the exercise capacity of patients entering a pulmonary rehabilitation program. The exercise specialist is able to observe the patients breathing pattern and to measure heart rate, rhythm and oxygen saturation during the study. The primary advantage is the ease of administration which makes it universally available. However, recent developments in the understanding of exercise testing in pulmonary patients and its utility in writing their exercise prescription, now makes the formal cardiopulmonary exercise test more important in the initial assessment.

In this presentation I will review the indications and basic physiology of the cardiopulmonary stress test. I will then describe the value of the physiological data available from the study for the patient entering a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

The 44th International Respiratory Congress Abstracts-On-DiskĀ®, November 7 - 10, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia.

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