Objective: This quasi-experimental study was conducted to determine whether differences existed in the total distance walked and energy expended between two conditions of administering the 6-Minute Walk test (6MW) across different levels of disability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: The sample comprised 160 individuals with MS. One group of participants (n = 82) completed a 6MW while wearing a portable metabolic unit (K4b2, Cosmed, Italy) in a square hallway with four corridors and performing 90° turns. Another group (n = 78) completed a 6MW while wearing the same metabolic unit in a single corridor and performing 180° turns. Main outcome measures included total distance walked (in feet) and oxygen consumption (in milliliters per minute) expressed as 30-second averages for 1 minute before the 6MW and over the entire 6MW. Disability status was assessed using the Patient-Determined Disease Steps scale. Results: Participants undertaking the 6MW in a single corridor (1412 ft) walked 37 ft (2.7%) farther than those undertaking the test in a square hallway (1375 ft), but this difference was not statistically significant (F = 0.45, P = .51). Those completing the 6MW in a single corridor expended more energy than those completing the 6MW in the square hallway with four corridors (F = 3.41, P < .01). Conclusions: Either protocol is acceptable, but researchers should be aware of the additional physiological demands when administering the 6MW in a single corridor with 180° turns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing