Six-minute walk test

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

The Six-minute Walk Test or 6MWT is a medical test used to measure how far a person can walk in 6 minutes, and is considered a measure of exercise capacity.[1] It was one of two key objective measures used in the controversial PACE trial that was withheld in the original publication, with patient questionnaire results published instead to support the initial claims that graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy were effective treatments for ME/CFS.[2]

Theory[edit | edit source]

The Six-Minute Walk Test involves the assessor providing a suitable environment and instructions for the person doing the test, for example a level surface free of obstacles and no observer giving extra encouragement.

The PACE trial authors refused to release the Six-minute Walk Test results, instead they judged recovery from ME/CFS based on the less accurate patient questionnaire responses.[2] The PACE trial authors and Queen Mary University of London, which held the unreleased data, were taken to a tribunal by a patient, which ordered the release of the data in 2018.[3] Independent analysis then showed no clinically significant improvement in Six-minute walk test results, proving the interventions were not effective.[citation needed]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Charts have been developed typical distances walked during the 6MWT by gender and age, which allows a person's result to be compared with a typical expected result. A person's 6 minute walking distance can also be taken before and after a treatment intervention, to assess improvement or lack of improvement.[1]

Cost and availability[edit | edit source]

The Six-minute Walk Test is free to administer and widely available.

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]