Cycle Ergometer Tests in Children With Cystic Fibrosis: Reliability and Feasibility

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the reliability and feasibility of cycle ergometer tests in young children with cystic fibrosis (CF). Children with CF aged 6–11 years and with stable lung disease performed two cycle ergometry tests (intermittent sprint and continuous incremental) on two occasions 1 week apart. Reliability was assessed using repeated-measures ANOVA. Bias was considered to be significant at P < 0.05 level and a coefficient of variation (CV) below 10% was considered acceptable. Feasibility and acceptability data were also collected. Sixteen children with CF completed the study: (9M:7F), 8.7(1.8) years, FEV1%predicted: 88.1(17.4). Power measurements recorded during the intermittent sprint test demonstrated significant bias over days (P < 0.05) and CVs were between 10% and 15%. Peak work capacity recorded during the continuous incremental test was reliable (bias P < 0.05, CV < 10%), as was heart rate and SpO2 recorded during both tests (bias P < 0.05, CV < 10%). No problems were experienced in administering the tests and all children completed both tests on two separate occasions. There was a mixed response to questions on acceptability of tests. This is the first study to provide information on the reliability of performance measures recorded during an intermittent sprint protocol (peak power) and a continuous incremental cycle ergometry (peak work capacity) in children with CF. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012; 47:1226–1234. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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