Geriatric Medicine Book

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Six-Minute Walk Test

Aka: Six-Minute Walk Test, 6 Minute Walk Test
  1. See Also
    1. Activities of Daily Living
    2. Activities of Daily Living Scale
    3. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
    4. Activity in the Elderly
    5. Congestive Heart Failure
  2. Indications
    1. Evaluation of Older Adult Functioning
    2. Evaluation of CHF Function (predicts mortality)
  3. Contraindications
    1. Musculoskeletal disorder interfering with ambulation
    2. Ambulatory aid use
    3. Resting Oxygen Saturation <90%
    4. Chest Pain within prior month
    5. Myocardial Infarction, PTCA, or CABG within 3 months
    6. Resting Heart Rate <50 or >110 beats per minute
  4. Preparation
    1. Set-up unobstructed hallway with known distance
      1. Ideal distance: 50 feet (100 feet round-trip)
      2. Mark floor with tape signifying start and end
    2. Place chair at each end of hallway
  5. Instructions for patient
    1. Walk at your own pace and stop to rest if needed
    2. Cover as much distance as possible
  6. Questionaire for patient
    1. Rate your Shortness of Breath before and after test
    2. Symptoms after test
      1. Chest Pain
      2. Light headedness
      3. Leg Pain
      4. Other symptoms
  7. Interpretation: General functioning in older adults
    1. Symptoms in <25% of participants
    2. Study mean walk distance (n=2117)
      1. Men: 1188 feet
      2. Women: 1089 feet
    3. References
      1. Enright (2003) Chest 123:387-98 [PubMed]
  8. Interpretation: Congestive Heart Failure evaluation
    1. Distance walked: <984 feet (300 meters)
      1. Hospitalization rate in 1 year: 40.9%
      2. Mortality rate in 1 year: 10.2%
    2. Distance walked: <1227 feet (374 meters)
      1. Hospitalization rate in 1 year: 33.6%
      2. Mortality rate in 1 year: 7.9%
    3. Distance walked: <1473 feet (449 meters)
      1. Hospitalization rate in 1 year: 27.4%
      2. Mortality rate in 1 year: 4.2%
    4. Distance walked: >1474 feet (450 meters)
      1. Hospitalization rate in 1 year: 19.9%
      2. Mortality rate in 1 year: 3.0%
    5. References
      1. Bittner (1993) JAMA 270:1702-7 [PubMed]

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