Is the six-minute walk test a useful tool to prescribe high-intensity exercise in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Heart & lung : the journal of critical care

PubMedID: 27639286

Rodrigues A, Di Martino M, Nellessen AG, Hernandes NA, Neder JA, Pitta F. Is the six-minute walk test a useful tool to prescribe high-intensity exercise in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?. Heart Lung. 2016;.
BACKGROUND
It is not yet completely known whether the 6MWT can be used to prescribe high-intensity exercise for patients with COPD.

OBJECTIVE
To evaluate the ability of the six-minute walk test (6MWT) to prescribe high-intensity exercise for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

METHODS
Lung function, maximal inspiratory strength, symptoms and exercise capacity were evaluated in patients with COPD (n = 27) before and after a 12-week high-intensity exercise program. Criteria for high-intensity training were: 1) =75% of the 6MWT average speed; 2) American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society (ATS/ERS) criteria (=60% of the maximal incremental shuttle walk test speed).

RESULTS
The 6MWT showed good positive and negative predictive values (0.69 and 0.71, respectively), and accuracy (0.70), good reliability (ICC 0.70 [95%CI 0.45-0.85]) and moderate agreement (k 0.41 [95%CI 0.13-0.67]) with the ATS/ERS criteria.

CONCLUSION
The 6MWT has good predictive ability and accuracy in relation to high-intensity exercise for patients with COPD.