Objective: To establish the test-retest reliability and concurrent validity with maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) for 3 submaximal exercise tests in persons with chronic stroke: (1) submaximal treadmill test, (2) submaximal cycle ergometer test, and (3) 6-minute walk test (6MWT).
Design: Prospective study using a convenience sample.
Setting: Free-standing tertiary rehabilitation center.
Participants: A volunteer sample of 12 community-dwelling individuals who had a stroke with moderate motor deficits.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption (VO2) were assessed during the exercise tests.
Results: Test-retest reliability was good to excellent for the exercise tests (maximal and submaximal tests). VO2 for all submaximal measures related to VO2max (r range, .66-.80). Neither the 6MWT distance, self-selected gait speed, nor hemodynamic measures related to VO2max.
Conclusion: The VO2 measures of the submaximal exercise tests had excellent reliability and good concurrent validity with VO2max. Submaximal exercise tests may be a method by which to monitor the effects of interventions after a screening test (eg, symptom-limited graded exercise test, dobutamine stress echocardiograph).