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Clinical Investigations: NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE |

Reliability of Maximal Respiratory Pressures in Multiple Sclerosis*

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, RN, EdD; Marc H. Lavietes, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: ,  *From the College of Nursing (Dr. Smeltzer), Villanova University, Villanova, PA; and the Department of Medicine (Dr. Lavietes), University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ. Supported by National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health grant R15 NR02763–01.

Affiliations: ,  *From the College of Nursing (Dr. Smeltzer), Villanova University, Villanova, PA; and the Department of Medicine (Dr. Lavietes), University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ. Supported by National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health grant R15 NR02763–01.



Chest. 1999;115(6):1546-1552. doi:10.1378/chest.115.6.1546
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Objective: To assess the reliability of maximal inspiratory pressure (Pimax) and maximal expiratory pressure (Pemax) in subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy control subjects by identifying the number of testing sessions and the number of measurements needed in a single testing session to obtain consistent, reproducible results.

Design: A descriptive, comparative design with repeated measures was used.

Setting: Four sets of 10 Pimax and 10 Pemax measurements were obtained over a 4-week period from MS subjects in their homes. The same measurements were obtained from healthy control subjects in a private setting.

Subjects: Seventy-two MS patients and 61 healthy control subjects participated in the study.

Measurement: Pimax and Pemax values were obtained by using previously published methods.

Results: Mean Pemax and Pimax values for MS patients differed over the first three of the four testing sessions. By contrast, mean Pemax and Pimax values for healthy control subjects differed only when the first session values were compared with values from the last three sessions. For MS patients, Pemax and Pimax increased between the first and 10th trial during the first testing session, but not during the subsequent three sessions.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that several practice sessions should be provided in order to obtain reliable Pemax and Pimax values in persons with MS. At least one practice session should be provided for healthy control subjects before identifying a baseline.

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