Objective: To assess the longitudinal association between respiratory muscle strength and cough capacity in persons with recent spinal cord injury. Design: Longitudinal analyses. Subjects: Forty persons with recent spinal cord injury and impaired pulmonary function. Methods: Measurements were performed 4 weeks after the start of rehabilitation, 9 and 17 weeks after the first measurement, and one year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Peak cough flow was measured with a spirometer. Maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP and MEP), expressed in cmH<inf>2</inf>O, were measured at the mouth. Results: Both MIP and MEP were significantly positively associated with peak cough flow. After correction for confounders and time 10 cmH<inf>2</inf>O higher MIP was associated with a 0.32 l/s higher peak cough flow, and a 10 cmH<inf>2</inf>O higher MEP was associated with a 0.15 l/s higher peak cough flow. The association between MIP and peak cough flow was mainly based on within-subject variance. The association between MIP and peak cough flow was stronger than between MEP and peak cough flow. Conclusion: Improvement in respiratory muscle strength is associated with improvement in cough capacity in persons with recent spinal cord injury who have impaired pulmonary function.

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doi.org/10.2340/16501977-1986, hdl.handle.net/1765/84969
Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Postma, K, Vlemmix, L.Y, Haisma, J.A, de Groot, S, Sluis, T.A.R, Stam, H.J, & Bussmann, J.B.J. (2015). Longitudinal association between respiratory muscle strength and cough capacity in persons with spinal cord injury: An explorative analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 47(8), 722–726. doi:10.2340/16501977-1986