Researchers studying the community ambulation abilities among people with lower-limb amputations found that the two-minute walk test (2MWT) is highly predictive of the results of the six-minute walk test (6MWT).
The study’s authors noted that assessing a patient’s ability to walk at least 300 meters, the distance required for community ambulation, is an important criteria in the rehabilitation of people with amputations, but that most of these patients cannot walk that distance during the 2MWT. Given this, they said the 6MWT may be preferred over the 2MWT. However, because the 6MWT has not been fully validated in this population, the researchers examined the convergent and discriminative validity of the 6MWT and assessed whether the 2MWT could predict the results of the 6MWT.
Eighty-six patients with unilateral or bilateral amputations at the Symes, transtibial, knee disarticulation, or transfemoral level completed the 6MWT, 2MWT, Timed Up and Go test, Locomotor Capabilities Index (version five), Houghton Scale of prosthetic use, and the Activity-Specific Balance Confidence Scale. The results indicate that the 6MWT correlated with the other tests, which demonstrates convergent validity. Discriminative validity is demonstrated with respect to age, etiology of amputation, and K-level. The study concludes that while the 6MWT is a valid measure to assess the ambulation capabilities of a person with a lower-limb amputation, the 2MWT could save the clinician time during clinical appointments.
The study was published online before print on January 12 in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.