F-12R Free Communication/Poster Perceived Exertion: Health and Clinical Populations
Exercise training can improve aerobic capacity, movement initiation, and quality of life in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). The Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale has been used to help prescribe and monitor intensity of aerobic exercise regimens in healthy adults. In PD, motor and subclinical autonomic nervous system dysfunction may influence the heart rate (HR) response to exercise and thus the relationship between HR and RPE. This influence may limit the usefulness of RPE-based intensity prescriptions in PD.
To examine the effects of parkinsonian motor disability score (Hoenh & Yahr) (H&Y) on the relationship between HR and RPE during exercise.
Distance walked, maximum HR (HRmax), and RPE were recorded in 19 patients in H&Y stages 1.5–2.0 and in 12 patients in H&Y stages 2.5–3.0 during a standard 6-minute walk test. Patients were optimally medicated and were evaluated within 1–2 hours of taking antiparkinsonian medication. Group comparisons were made using independent t-tests, and regression analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between HR and RPE.
HRmax and distance walked were significantly greater in H&Y 1.5–2.0 compared to HY 2.5–3.0 (p < 0.05). A significant relationship between RPE at HRmax and HRmax was observed in patients with H&Y 1.5–2.0 (r = 0.47,p > < 0.05). However, this relationship was not observed in patients with H&Y 2.5–3.0 (r = 0.02,p = 0.94). This discrepancy indicates that the association between RPE at HRmax and HRmax depends on H&Y (Fig 1).
The HR-RPE relationship may be maintained in patients with early PD, but not by patients in whom ambulation is affected. These preliminary results would imply that using RPE to prescribe and monitor exercise intensity in patients with PD may have important limitations. Further study is necessary to elucidate the nature of the evolving relationship between RPE and disability in PD. Supported by NIH grant # RO-1AT00612–01.