Primary objective: To validate the modified 20-metre shuttle test in adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Design: Single-sample validity study.
Setting: Brain injury rehabilitation unit.
Participants: Twenty-four adults with severe TBI, discharged from hospital for at least 6-months.
Protocol: Participants attended the facility for a familiarization session, followed by a symptom-limited treadmill test and a modified shuttle test on two separate days. The treadmill test was based on an individualised protocol which used a physiotherapist-selected speed and increments in gradient every minute until volitional fatigue. The modified shuttle test was externally-paced and commenced with a speed of 2.4 km h(-1) which increased every minute until volitional fatigue.
Main measures: Four primary measures were taken from both tests: peak oxygen uptake, peak heart rate, maximal velocity and rating of perceived exertion.
Results: All participants completed the study. There were no adverse events. A high correlation was observed between the modified shuttle test and the treadmill test for peak oxygen uptake, peak heart rate and maximal velocity (r = 0.96, r = 0.80, r = 0.82, respectively; p < 0.001), but not for rating of perceived exertion (r = 0.013, p = 0.952).
Conclusion: The modified shuttle test is a valid measure of cardiorespiratory fitness in people who have sustained a TBI.