Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze the reliability (interrater and intrarater) and agreement (repeatability and reproducibility) properties of tapered flow resistive loading (TFRL) measures in patients with heart failure (HF). Methods: For this cross-sectional study, participants were recruited from the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program at the University of Brasilia from July 2015 to July 2016. All patients participated in the study, and 10 were randomly chosen for intrarater and interrater reliability testing. The 124 participants with HF (75% men) were 57.6 (SD = 1.81) years old and had a mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 38.9% (SD = 15%) and a peak oxygen consumption of 13.05 (SD = 5.3) mL·kg·min-1. The main outcome measures were the maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) measured with a standard manovacuometer (SM) and the MIP and maximal dynamic inspiratory pressure (S-Index) obtained with TFRL. The S-Index reliability (interrater and intrarater) was examined by 2 evaluators, the S-Index repeatability was examined with 10 repetitions, and the reproducibility of the MIP and S-Index was measured with SM and TFRL, respectively. Results: The reliability analysis revealed high S-Index interrater and intrarater reliability values (intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs] of 0.89 [95% CI = 0.58-0.98] and 0.97 [95% CI = 0.89-0.99], respectively). Repeatability analyses revealed that 8 maneuvers were required to reach the maximum S-Index in 75.81% (95% CI = 68.27-83.34) of the population. The reproducibility of TFRL measures (S-Index = 68.8 [SD = 32.8] cm H2O; MIP = 66 [SD = 32.3] cm H2O) was slightly lower than that of the SM measurement (MIP = 70.1 [SD = 35.9] cm H2O). Conclusions: The TFRL device provided a reliable intrarater and interrater S-Index measure in patients with HF and had acceptable repeatability, requiring 8 maneuvers to produce a stable S-Index measure. The reproducibilities of the S-Index, MIP obtained with SM, and MIP obtained with TRFL were similar. Impact: TRFL is a feasible method to assess both MIP and the S-index as measures of inspiratory muscle strength in patients with HF and can be used for inspiratory muscle training, making the combined testing and training capabilities important in both clinical research and the management of patients with HF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation