Technologies for the Instrumental Evaluation of Physical Function in Persons Affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review
Zucchelli, A., Pancera, S., Bianchi, L. N. C., Marengoni, A., and Lopomo, N. F.
Several systems, sensors, and devices are now available for the instrumental evaluation of physical function in persons with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We aimed to systematically review the literature about such technologies. The literature search was conducted in all major scientific databases, including articles published between January 2001 and April 2022. Studies reporting measures derived from the instrumental assessment of physical function in individuals with COPD were included and were divided into application and validation studies. The quality of validation studies was assessed with the Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) risk of bias tool. From 8752 articles retrieved, 21 application and 4 validation studies were included in the systematic review. Most application studies employed accelerometers, gait analysis systems, instrumented mattresses, or force plates to evaluate walking. Surface electro-myography or near-infrared spectroscopy were employed in four studies. Validation studies were heterogeneous and presented a risk of bias ranging from inadequate to doubtful. A variety of data regarding physical function can be retrieved from technologies used in COPD studies. However, a general lack of standardization and limitations in study design and sample size hinder the implementation of the instrumental evaluation of function in clinical practice.