Standardization of Cardiopulmonary Skills: Measures of Aerobic Capacity

Presenter: Matthew Nippins

Research Category: Health Sciences
Student Type: Undergraduate
PI: Matthew Nippins
Award Winner Category: Health Sciences

Introduction: Tests of aerobic capacity are used by physical therapists for evaluation and measurement of patients’ progress. This literature review will evaluate the applicability and best practice for the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), 2-Minute Walk Test (2MWT), seated step test (SST), and 2-minute step test (2MST). Educational videos of each test will be made to improve future physical therapy students’ clinical skills.

Methods: Multiple online databases were searched using keywords related to each test. The information obtained regarding standardization and administration will be utilized in the production of videos of each test which will be filmed under advisement of a cardiopulmonary physical therapy specialist, and will be provided to future physical therapy students through the Blackboard portal. Similar videos have been implemented at Northeastern University with positive implications, leading the researchers to determine that this is a beneficial teaching strategy.

Strengths and Limitations: Researchers had access to all materials via Northeastern University. There was conclusive evidence that showed the validity of all tests except the 2-minute step test; as a result the 3-minute step test (3MST) was chosen to replace it.

Conclusion: The 6MWT, 2MWT, and SST were found to be highly reliable and valid. Literature is lacking for the 2MST and it is recommended that the 3MST be used in its place. Educational videos will help future physical therapists improve their performance while administering tests of aerobic capacity. Videos will provide a visualization of test administration, as well as guidelines regarding elements of testing that are commonly difficult.