Evaluating physical function and daily activity in patients with intermittent claudication
Gee, R. de
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Introduction To decrease mortality in patients with intermittent claudication it is more and more recognized that low physical activity levels should be treated. Guidelines recommend supervised exercise therapy as primary treatment option which is proved to be very effective in increasing functional capacity. Recent literature found no difference in activity while capacity increased after exercise therapy. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship of functional capacity and actual physical activity in patients with intermittent claudication Methods A cross-sectional study of 46 patients was performed in the outpatient clinic of the Catharina Hospital Eindhoven. Physical activity was objectively measured for 7 consecutive days and nights. Functional capacity was measured with the six-minute walk test, the graded treadmill test, the short physical performance battery and the timed up and go. Correlations were analyzed. Results Of all patients, 50% started a supervised exercise program. Patients were sedentary for 80% of the time and walked only 6.6% of their time. Significant correlations where found between the function tests and physical activity outcomes of locomotion where the treadmill test correlated slightly stronger. Other function tests did not sufficiently correlate with physical activity. Conclusion In contrast to what was expected, a moderate relationship is present between treadmill testing and objectively measured physical activity. Certainly a lot is left unexplained about physical activity. Future research should analyze physical activity as separate outcome. Clinical Relevance This is the first study reporting data of physical activity in different dimensions in patients with intermittent claudication. Moderate correlations which are found between capacity and activity outcomes implicate that physical activity is only party related with functional capacity. Corridor-based function testing correlates weaker than treadmill testing.