Six Minute Walk Test Essay

1313 words - 5 pages

Six-minute walk test
There are many tools to assess functional exercise capacity most of which provide good information about body system. The most popular clinical exercise tests are stair climbing, a 6MWT, a shuttle-walk test, detection of exercise-induced asthma, a cardiac stress test and a cardiopulmonary exercise test) (ATS, 2002). In the past, the functional exercise capacity was assessed by asking patients “How many flights of stairs can you climb or how many blocks can you walk?”; but, this assessment was a subjective measurement. In addition, the first objective tool was in 1960s which was 12 minute walking test; however, it was so exhausting for patients. As a result from that, a 6 minute walking test (6MWT) was found to be used as an objective measurement tool for functional exercise capacity in patients with mild or moderate respiratory diseases and cardiac diseases (ATS, 2002). Many studies have concluded that 6MWT is inexpensive test and“… it is easy to administer, better tolerated, and more reflective of activities of daily living than the other walk tests” (ATS, 2002). Therefore, this essay will describe the 6MWT and comment on administration, application, reliability and validity based on the literature reviews.

Chang (2006) mentioned that 6MWT measures the distance that patients can walk on a flat surface as fast as they can with stops needed by patients within 6 minute. In addition, 6 MWT can reflect the exercise level needed for daily tasks. Morales-Blanhir, Vidal, Romero, Castro, Villegas, Zamboni (2010) showed that the major indications for 6MWT are to measure the response to the intervention given to the patients and it can be used for measuring the functional status of patients, as well as a predictor of morbidity and mortality (ATS, 2002).

However, there are some limitations and contraindication for 6MWT. ATS (2002) showed that there are two limitations of 6MWT which are it does not find out peak oxygen uptake and it cannot diagnose what the cause of dyspnea are and what the causes or mechanisms of exercise limitation are. In addition, the contraindications for 6MWT are patients had unstable angina or Myocardial infarction during last month, hypertension and patients with high heart rates more than 120.

In addition, there are many studies showed that 6MWT is reliable and veiled and can response to intervention. Chang (2006) showed that 6MWT is reliable following practice tests which is repeat the same test after 30 minutes with ICCs ranging from 0.91 to 0.92. The 6MWT has been found to have content validity for patients with severe heart failure and pacemakers; in addition, it has shown good association with peak oxygen uptake in individual patient with end stage lung disease (Chang, 2006). Many studies showed that patients after pulmonary rehabilitation program have shown improvement in 6MWD. Therefore 6MWT can response to the intervention (Chang, 2006). In addition, the test has confirmed practical in...

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