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Energy conservation technique improves dyspnoea when patients with severe COPD climb stairs: a randomised crossover study
  1. Guillaume Prieur1,2,3,
  2. Yann Combret1,3,
  3. Clement Medrinal2,3,
  4. Nathalie Arnol4,
  5. Tristan Bonnevie2,5,
  6. Francis-Edouard Gravier2,5,
  7. Jean Quieffin3,
  8. Bouchra Lamia2,3,
  9. Gregory Reychler1,6,
  10. Jean-Christian Borel7,8
  1. 1 Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research (IREC), Pole of Pulmonology, ORL and Dermatology, Université catholique de Louvain, 1200, Belgium
  2. 2 Normandie Univ, UNIROUEN, EA3830-GRHV, Institute for Research and Innovation in Biomedicine (IRIB), 76 000 Rouen, France
  3. 3 Pulmonology department and pulmonary rehabilitation department, Groupe Hospitalier du Havre, 76290 Montivilliers, France
  4. 4 ICADOM, AGIR à dom, Meylan, France
  5. 5 ADIR Association, Bois-Guillaume, France
  6. 6 Department of Pneumology, Cliniques universitaires Saint Luc, Brusels, Belgium
  7. 7 R&D, AGIR à dom, Meylan, France
  8. 8 HP2 Laboratory INSERM U1042, Grenoble University, Grenoble, France
  1. Correspondence to Guillaume Prieur, Pulmonology department, Groupe Hospitalier du Havre, 76290 Montivilliers, France; gprieur.kine{at}


In this randomised, crossover trial, 22 patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease climbed six flights of stairs (108 steps) twice, under two test conditions: (1) energy conservation technique (ECT): participants were asked to rest for at least 5 seconds every three steps and (2) control condition: participants climbed the stairs at their own pace. Significant lower dyspnoea (primary outcome), leg discomfort, minute ventilation and capillary blood lactate under the ECT condition were found, with no change in total task time.

Clinical trial registration NCT03564028

  • COPD pathology
  • exercise
  • perception of asthma/breathlessness
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
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  • Contributors Trial concept and design: GP, CM, YC, JCB and GR; acquisition of data: GP, CM, and YC; supervision of the study: BL, JQ; analysis and interpretation of data: NA, GP, GR and JCB, drafting the article: GP, CM, YC, TB, FEG, JCB and GR; revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version to be published: all authors. GP had full access to all trial data and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

  • Funding This work was supported by GHAHR Association (Le Havre, France).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the French Ethics committee Est I (April 26 2018). Written informed consent was obtained from all patients.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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