Indian Heart J 2018 Dec 23;70 Suppl 3:S466-S470. Epub 2018 Oct 23.
Maharaja Agrasen Medical College, Agroha, Haryana, India.
Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) plays a vital role in improving function and preventing mortality of cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients. Outpatient (Phase II and III) CR is almost nonexistent in India because of several reasons such as time, cost, distance, education level, scarcity of resources and so forth. Cardiologists or cardiac surgeons can directly advise patients and their family members to do an optimal dose of exercise in low-resource settings, that is, rural, low-income, or low-educated patients. Talk test is a no-cost, subjective tool for exercise prescription which is gaining popularity in CR because of its simplicity. This brief descriptive review covers history, administration, physiological mechanisms, reliability and validity, and safety among cardiac patients along with limitations of the 'talk test'. This review also theoretically discusses how the talk test could be used in primary and secondary prevention of CVD. Finally, it advocates Indian CR team to use this simple validated tool as a self-monitoring tool of exercise intensity.