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Feasibility and reliability of functional muscle tests in lung transplant recipients

Kienbacher, Thomas1; Achim-Gunacker, Grace2; Pachner, Melanie2; Kerschan-Schindl, Katharina2; Gunacker, Patrik3; Habenicht, Richard1; Klepetko, Walter4; Jaksch, Peter4; Doblhammer, Stephan5; Ebenbichler, Gerold2

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: December 2, 2017 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000849
Research Article: PDF Only

Objective This study investigates the feasibility, reliability, and correlations of recommended functional tests in lung transplant recipients shortly after surgery.

Design Observational study

Methods 50 patients (28 females) performed well standardized maximum isometric back extension in a sitting position, hand grip strength, and Biering-Sørensen endurance tests shortly before discharge from the acute hospital, shortly thereafter, and two months later following subacute rehabilitation.

Results Back extension testing was well feasible but only two thirds of the patients could perform the Biering-Sørensen test at baseline and they experienced a greater number of minor but no major adverse events. Absolute reliability measures and the intraclass-correlation-coefficients were excellent for the strength [0.97 - 0.98 (0.95 - 0.99)] and good for the endurance tests [0.69 (0.26 - 0.87)]. Hand grip revealed high correlation with back strength (≥0.75) but not with Biering-Sørensen scores.

Conclusion Well controlled maximum back strength testing is feasible, reliable, and the scores are highly correlated with grip strength in lung transplant recipients shortly before hospital discharge. The Biering-Sørensen test should be limited to patients without dominant weakness and/or fear. Future research should investigate if grip instead of back extension strength can safely be used for proper exercise prescription.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

1Karl Landsteiner Institute of outpatient rehabilitation research, Vienna, Austria

2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vienna Medical University, Vienna, Austria

3Department of Solid State Physics, Vienna Technical University, Vienna, Austria

4Department of Thoracic Surgery, Vienna Medical University, Vienna, Austria

5Wilhelminen Hospital, Department of Surgery, Vienna, Austria

Corresponding author: Thomas Kienbacher, MD, Karl Landsteiner Institute of outpatient research, Porschestraße 29, A-1230 Vienna, Austria, tel: +43/1/6998765, fax:+43/1/6998765-4, E-Mail: kienbacher@rehabzentrum.at

Author disclosures

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests:

• We have not received reimbursements, grants, fees, funding, financing of the manuscript, equipment provided or salary from an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of this manuscript, either now or in the future.

• We do not hold any stocks or shares in an organization that may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of this manuscript, either now or in the future.

• We do not hold nor are we currently applying for any patents relating to the content of the manuscript. We have not received reimbursements, fees, funding, or salary from an organization that holds or has applied for patents relating to the content of the manuscript.

• We have no other financial competing interests.

• We have no non-financial competing interest (political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, intellectual, commercial, or any other) to declare in relation to the manuscript.

• This research was not presented previously in any form.

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