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Respiratory Muscle Strength in Chronic Stroke Survivors and Its Relation With the 6-Minute Walk Test

Published:October 28, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2015.10.089

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To compare respiratory muscle strength in stroke survivors (SS) with that in a control group (CG) of healthy people matched by age and sex, as well as to investigate any relation between respiratory muscle strength and the distance walked during the 6-minute walk test (6MWT).

      Design

      Cross-sectional study.

      Setting

      This study comprised patients from a private neurological rehabilitation center and a public association for patients with acquired brain injury.

      Participants

      Chronic SS with a diagnosis of hemiplegia/hemiparesis who were able to walk (n=30) and healthy individuals matched by sex and age (n=30) (N=60).

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Respiratory muscle strength was assessed using maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) and maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) with a pressure transducer and a diver nozzle. The distance walked during the 6MWT was also registered for both groups. The motricity index and the Scale Impact of Stroke version 16.0 were also measured in SS.

      Results

      The Student t test revealed significantly lower values of MIP and MEP in SS than in the CG (MEP, 95.93±43.12cmH2O in SS vs 158.43±41.6cmH2O in the CG; MIP, 58.7±24.67cmH2O in SS vs 105.7±23.14cmH2O in the CG; P<.001). Moreover, these findings were clinically relevant because both MIP and MEP in SS were <60% of the predicted values. A positive correlation between the 6MWT and MIP was found using the Pearson coefficient (r=.43; P<.018).

      Conclusions

      Respiratory muscle weakness should be considered in a holistic approach to stroke rehabilitation.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      6MWT (6-minute walk test), CG (control group), MEP (maximal expiratory pressure), MIP (maximal inspiratory pressure), SS (stroke survivors)
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