For a study, exercise intolerance was a typical symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and it reflects not just cardiorespiratory health, but also the severity and prognosis of the illness overall. The ability to assess exercise capacity enabled the tracking of illness progression and response to treatments. Formal cardiopulmonary metabolic exercise testing gave a plethora of physiological data, although it was impracticable in some situations. Field tests were commonly utilized as surrogates since they did not require specialized equipment or knowledge. The data supporting the validity, reliability, and interpretation of known and new field tests of exercise capacity in the evaluation of persons with COPD was examined in the review. In COPD, the psychometric features of the 6-minute walk, incremental shuttle walk, and endurance shuttle walk tests were well-established.
Nonetheless, time and space constraints hindered the widespread adoption of the tests across all healthcare settings. In COPD, a number of newer, simpler, and shorter functional tests were becoming available, which were suitable for use in a variety of clinical settings, including at the bedside. The 4-meter gait speed, sit-to-stand tests, the Short Physical Performance Battery, and the Stair Climb Power Test are all examples of such tests. The 4-meter gait speed and 5-sit-to-stand tests had the best psychometric qualities in COPD patients.
In conclusion, exercise capacity was a critical COPD outcome metric. There were a number of well-known and well-validated field walking tests that might be used to assess exercise capacity. Simpler assays were being developed that allowed routine evaluation of exercise capacity at the bedside or in the house.