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Pulmonary Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 782702, 8 pages
Clinical Study

A Simple Clinical Measure of Quadriceps Muscle Strength Identifies Responders to Pulmonary Rehabilitation

1Queensland Lung Transplant Service, The Prince Charles Hospital, Rode Road, Chermside, QLD 4032, Australia
2School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
3Physiotherapy Department, The Prince Charles Hospital, Rode Road, Chermside, QLD 4032, Australia
4School of Rehabilitation Sciences and Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Parklands Drive, Southport, QLD 4215, Australia
5Discipline of Physiotherapy, The University of Sydney, 75 East Street, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia

Received 26 August 2013; Revised 8 November 2013; Accepted 12 November 2013; Published 30 January 2014

Academic Editor: Andrew Sandford

Copyright © 2014 James R. Walsh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim was to determine if baseline measures can predict response to pulmonary rehabilitation in terms of six-minute walk distance (6MWD) or quality of life. Participants with COPD who attended pulmonary rehabilitation between 2010 and 2012 were recruited. Baseline measures evaluated included physical activity, quadriceps strength, comorbidities, inflammatory markers, and self-efficacy. Participants were classified as a responder with improvement in 6MWD (criteria of ≥25 m or ≥2SD) and Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ; ≥0.5 points/question). Eighty-five participants with a mean (SD) age of 67(9) years and a mean forced expiratory volume in one second of 55(22)% were studied. Forty-nine and 19 participants were responders when using the 6MWD criteria of ≥25 m and ≥61.9 m, respectively, with forty-four participants improving in CRQ. In a regression model, responders in 6MWD (≥25 m criteria) had lower baseline quadriceps strength ( ) and higher baseline self-efficacy scores ( ). Independent predictors of 6MWD response (≥61.9 m criteria) were participants with metabolic disease ( ) and lower baseline quadriceps strength ( ). Lower baseline CRQ was the only independent predictor of CRQ response. A participant with relatively lower baseline quadriceps strength was the strongest independent predictor of 6MWD response. Metabolic disease may predict 6MWD response, but predictors of CRQ response remain unclear.