Functional assessment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe available methods for assessing functional capacity in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Data sources: An extensive literature review is used to provide pertinent information. Conclusions: COPD disease affects millions of Americans and is physically and psychologically distressing. The hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is irreversible airflow limitation and dyspnea. Dyspnea is a major contributor to decreased exercise capacity and functional status in this population. Understanding the methods to complete a functional assessment is important for all practitioners caring for this population. Implications for practice: This paper provides an overview of current methods used to assess functional status, including pulmonary function testing, exercise testing, and anthropomorphic and self-report measurements. In addition, there is discussion of the indications and contraindications for exercise testing in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the clinical significance of performing a global composite of functional ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute care
  • Allergy
  • Asthma
  • Atopy
  • Chronic illness
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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