Determining the Minimal Clinically Important Difference for 6-Minute Walk Distance in Fibromyalgia

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to estimate the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for 6-min walk distance (6MWD) in patients with fibromyalgia.

Design

Data from a recently completed trial that included 187 patients who completed the 6-min walk test, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), and Short-Form 36 (SF36) at 12 and 36 wks were used to examine longitudinal changes in 6MWD. An anchor-based approach that used linear regression analyses was used to determine the MCID for 6MWD, using the total FIQ score (FIQ-Total) and SF36-physical function domain as clinical anchors.

Results

The mean (SD) change in 6MWD from baseline to week 36 was 34.4 (65.2) m (P < 0.001). The anchor-based MCIDs for the 6MWD were 156 and 167 m for the FIQ and SF36-physical function domain, respectively. These MCIDs correspond with clinically meaningful improvements in FIQ (14% reduction) and SF36-physical function domain (10-point increase).

Conclusion

The MCID for 6MWD in patients with fibromyalgia was 156 to 167 m. These findings provide the first evidence of the change in 6MWD that is perceived by patients to be clinically meaningful. Further research using other MCID calculation methods is needed to refine estimates of the MCID for 6MWD in patients with fibromyalgia.

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