Measurement of functional activity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: The grocery shelving task

Catherine J. Hill, Linda Denehy, Anne E. Holland, Christine F. McDonald

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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop a standardized test to evaluate functional performance, including arm activity, of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. METHODS: Fifty-seven patients (mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second % predicted = 46) were recruited to measure reproducibility (n = 10) of a grocery shelving task (GST) over 6 weeks without intervention and responsiveness (n = 47) of the task following a 6-week pulmonary rehabilitation program. In 25 of these patients, the pattern and magnitude of cardiorespiratory responses during the task were compared with the unsupported upper limb exercise test. RESULTS: Time taken to perform the GST was highly reproducible over a 6-week period (ICC = 0.97). Patients demonstrated a significant 8.0% improvement (95% CI, 4.6-11.3) on the task following pulmonary rehabilitation. There were significant correlations for peak cardiorespiratory responses between the GST and the unsupported upper limb exercise test. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that a standardized GST is a reproducible, valid, and responsive functional outcome measure that incorporates unsupported arm activity for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-409
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Functional activity
  • Outcome measure

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