Comparison of walking performance over the first 2 minutes and the full 6 minutes of the Six-Minute Walk Test

Richard W. Bohannon, Deborah Bubela*, Susan Magasi, Heather McCreath, Ying Chih Wang, David Reuben, William Z. Rymer, Richard Gershon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although the Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), as recommended by the American Thoracic Society, is widely used as a measure of functional endurance, it may not be applicable in some settings and populations. We sought to examine, therefore, performance over the first 2 minutes and the full 6 minutes of the 6MWT. Specifically, we investigated completion rates, distances walked, test-retest reliability, and the relationship between distances walked over the first 2 and the full 6 minutes of the 6MWT. Methods. Community-dwelling children and adults age 3-85 years (n = 337) were asked to walk back and forth on a 15.24 meter (50 ft) course as far as possible without running over a 6 minute period. Test completion and the distance covered by the participants at 2 and 6 minutes were documented. The reliability of distances covered at 2 and 6 minutes was determined by retesting a subsample of 54 participants 6 to 10 days later. The relationship between distances covered at 2 and 6 minutes was determined for the 330 participants completing the 6MWT. Results: All 337 participants completed at least 2 minutes of walking, but 7 children less than 5 years of age ceased walking before 6 minutes had elapsed. For the remaining 330 participants the mean distance walked was 186 meters at 2 minutes and 543 meters at 6 minutes. The distances covered at 2 and 6 minutes were reliable between sessions (intraclass correlation coefficients = 0.888 and 0.917, respectively). The distances covered over 2 and 6 minutes were highly correlated (r = 0.968). Conclusions: The completion rate, values obtained, test-retest reliability, and relationship of the distances walked in 2 and 6 minutes support documentation of 2 minute distance during the 6MWT. The findings also provide support for use of a Two-Minute Walk Test as the endurance component in the Motor Battery of the NIH Toolbox.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number269
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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