Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Gore, Shweta DPT, PT
  2. Blackwood, Jennifer PhD, PT
  3. Guyette, Mary DPT, PT
  4. Alsalaheen, Bara PhD, PT


Purpose: Reduced physical activity is associated with poor prognosis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Accelerometers have greatly improved quantification of physical activity by providing information on step counts, body positions, energy expenditure, and magnitude of force. The purpose of this systematic review was to compare the validity and reliability of accelerometers used in patients with COPD.


Methods: An electronic database search of MEDLINE and CINAHL was performed. Study quality was assessed with the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist while methodological quality was assessed using the modified Quality Appraisal Tool for Reliability Studies.


Results: The search yielded 5392 studies; 25 met inclusion criteria. The SenseWear Pro armband reported high criterion validity under controlled conditions (r = 0.75-0.93) and high reliability (ICC = 0.84-0.86) for step counts. The DynaPort MiniMod demonstrated highest concurrent validity for step count using both video and manual methods.


Discussion: Validity of the SenseWear Pro armband varied between studies especially in free-living conditions, slower walking speeds, and with addition of weights during gait. A high degree of variability was found in the outcomes used and statistical analyses performed between studies, indicating a need for further studies to measure reliability and validity of accelerometers in COPD.


Conclusion: The SenseWear Pro armband is the most commonly used accelerometer in COPD, but measurement properties are limited by gait speed variability and assistive device use. DynaPort MiniMod and Stepwatch accelerometers demonstrated high validity in patients with COPD but lack reliability data.