Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 46 Number 9, 2009
   Pages 1121 — 1126

Abstract – Reference equation for 6-minute walk in individuals with Parkinson disease

Michael J. Falvo, MS;1 Gammon M. Earhart, PT, PhD1-2*

1Program in Physical Therapy and 2Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology and Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Abstract — Normal values, as well as determining factors, for the 6-minute walk test are available for nondisabled adults, but less is known about individuals with Parkinson disease (PD). This study created a PD-specific reference equation and identified unique factors associated with 6-minute walk distance (6MWD). Eighty individuals (mean +/- standard deviation [SD] age: 66.3 +/- 9.8 yr) with mild to moderate PD underwent a neurological examination and completed a small battery of tests to assess their balance confidence, fall risk, mobility, and balance. Their mean +/- SD 6MWD was 394.1 +/- 98.4 m (95% confidence interval: 370.0-418.1). Stepwise multiple regression analysis demonstrated that timed up-and-go (TUG) test, one-leg stance (OLS) test, and sex were significant independent contributors to 6MWD and accounted for 56.6% of the variance. The resulting PD-specific regression equation is 6MWDpred = 543.06 + (-10.83 × TUG) + (2.04 × OLS) + (-44.44 × sex). (For sex, 0 = female, 1 = male.) Future interpretation of 6MWD in individuals with PD may be enhanced if expressed as a percentage of the value predicted utilizing this reference equation.

Key words: 6-minute walk distance, exercise test, Freezing of Gait questionnaire, functional capacity, one-leg stance test, Parkinson disease, reference equation, timed up-and-go test, UPDRS, walking.


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