Two- and 6-minute walk tests assess walking capability equally in neuromuscular diseases

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Abstract

Objective:

This methodologic study investigates if the 2-minute walk test (2MWT) can be a valid alternative to the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) to describe walking capability in patients with neuromuscular diseases.

Methods:

Patients (n = 115) with different neuromuscular diseases were invited to participate on 2 test days, each consisting of 1 2MWT and 1 6MWT separated by a minimum 30-minute period of rest. The order of the walk tests was randomly assigned via sealed envelopes. A group of 38 healthy controls completed 1 6MWT.

Results:

The mean walking distance for the 2MWT was 142.8 meters and for the 6MWT 405.3 meters. The distance walked in the 2MWT was highly correlated to the distance walked in the 6MWT (r = 0.99, p < 0.001). There was a significant decrease in walking speed from the first to last minute in the 6MWT, both among patients and healthy controls, which was not evident in the 2MWT. Results were consistent across diagnoses and levels of disease severity.

Conclusion:

The 2MWT is a potential alternative to the 6MWT to describe walking capability among patients with neuromuscular diseases during clinical trials.

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