This study’s aim was to determine if there was an increase in walk distance when two incremental shuttle walk tests (ISWTs) were performed at the beginning of a maintenance exercise program (0 month) and at three, six and 12-month assessments. A prospective, longitudinal, repeated measures study in COPD consisting of forty-eight participants (22 males) with COPD was conducted: [Baseline characteristics: mean (SD): FEV1 59 (19) % pred; age 65 (8) years; BMI 26 (6) (kg/m2)]. Participants completed two ISWTs at zero, three, six and twelve months. Incremental shuttle walk distance (ISWD) was measured. There was a considerable increase in walk distance between two ISWTs at zero month (17 metres (95% CI: 7 to 26) and three months (18 metres (95% CI: 6 to 30), but not at six or 12 months.
The study found that an increase in walk distance when a second ISWT was performed at zero and three months suggested the need to perform two ISWTs when participants are naïve to the test and at the three-month reassessment during a 12-month maintenance exercise program.