Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) Evaluation Summary
|What does the tool measure?||It is a functional walking test that determines the distance that a client can walk within six minutes.|
|What types of clients can the tool be used for?||Patients with stroke, head injury, Parkinson’s, pulmonary and cardiac diseases, elderly individuals and healthy adults.|
|Is this a screening or assessment tool?||Assessment|
|Time to administer||6 minutes|
|Versions||12MWT, 5MWT, 3MWT, 2MWT|
|Other Languages||Not applicable.|
|Reliability||– Four studies examined the test-retest reliability of the 6MWT and reported excellent test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.97 – 0.99).
– One study examined the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of the 6MWT and found the test to have adequate intra-rater (ICC = 0.74) and excellent inter-rater (ICC = 0.78) reliabilities.
|Does the tool detect change in patients?||– 6 studies have used the 6MWT to demonstrate the effectiveness of various exercise interventions and found an increase in the distance walked ranging from 28.21m to 102.8m post-intervention. One study directly examined the responsiveness of the 6MWT and reported that the 6MWT has a large standardized response mean (SRM), indicating that it is a sensitive measure in clients with stroke.|
|Acceptability||The 6MWT has been used in acute, sub-acute and chronic stroke populations.
Note: Care should be taken to evaluate safety in ambulation prior to testing to ensure that the patient is safe to walk alone without supervision before the test is chosen as an assessment.
|Feasibility||The 6MWT requires no specialized training to administer and only simple equipment is required (a stop-watch, Borg Scale, and pulse oximeter when necessary). It is a simple test that required 100-ft, quiet, indoor, flat, straight rectangular hallway. The walking course must be 30m in length and for 30m the length of corridor must be marked every 3m with colored tape.|
|How to obtain the tool?||Detailed instructions for administration as found in the 6MWT module are sufficient information for administering the 6MWT.|