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Other Tests of Exercise Capacity

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests of exercise capacity, such as incremental cycle ergometry or constant workrate cycle endurance tests, may also be used.  These tests provide detailed physiologic measurements that are useful for assessing the cause of exercise limitation and prescribing exercise.  Constant workrate tests are responsive to changes in exercise capacity following pulmonary rehabilitation.  However, these tests require complex equipment, are costly and not available outside specialist centres.  Laboratory tests are ebyond the scope of the toolkit, however further information can be obtained from ATS/ACCP Statement: Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (2003) and Lavoilette (2008).

Upper Limb Tests

A number of upper limb assessment tools are available, such as the incremental unsupported upper limb exercise test and the grocery shelving task.  These tests are reliable and sensitive to change, however the minimal important difference has not been established.  Upper limb tests are not routinely performed in pulmonary rehabilitation.  For further details, see Takahashi (2003) and Hill (2008).