Research Article| Volume 29, ISSUE 4, 104637, April 2020

Reproducibility of Different Methodologies to Calculate Oxygen Consumption and Oxygen Cost During Walking in Chronic Stroke Survivors


      Objective: The most common methods to calculate energy costs are based on measured oxygen uptake during walking a standardized distance or time. Unfortunately, it is unclear which method is most reliable to determine energy cost of walking in stroke survivors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the 3 most commonly used methods for calculating oxygen consumption and -cost by assessing test-retest reliability and measurement error in community dwelling chronic stroke survivors during a 6 Minute Walk Test. Methods: In this secondary analysis of a longitudinal study, reproducibility of the outcome of walking distance, walking speed, oxygen consumption and oxygen cost from 3 methods (Kendall's tau, assumed steady-state and total walking time oxygen consumption) were determined using Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, Standard Error of Measurement and Smallest Detectable Change. Results:20 from the 31 participants successfully performed the 6 minute walk test-retest within a timeframe of 1 month. Within the 2 tests the reproducibility of walking distance and walking speed was high. The 3 methods to determine reproducibility for oxygen cost and oxygen consumption were considered good (Kendall's tau), good (assumed steady-state) and excellent (total walking time). Conclusions: The method using oxygen consumption and -cost over the total walking time resulted in the highest reproducibility considering the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, its 95% Confidence Interval, and smaller absolute differences.

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