The validity and reliability of a 6-Metre Timed Walk for the functional assessment of patients with stroke.

The 10-Metre Timed Walk (10MTW) is well established for use in assessment of patients with stroke. However, space limitations and the exhaustive nature of the test for many patients have resulted in many physiotherapists using a walk test of shorter distance. The aim of this study was to investigate the validity and reliability of a 6-Metre Timed Walk (6MTW) in patients with stroke. Forty-five patients with stroke (27 men and 18 women) participated in the study. Subjects performed two 6MTWs by using their usual walking aids. On the following day, subjects repeated the walk administered by a different tester. On a different day, subjects similarly performed two 10MTWs. Gait speed and cadence were calculated from the timed data. Isometric knee extensor strength of the paretic side was tested. Significant correlations were found between 6MTW and cadence, walking aids used, 10MTW, and isometric knee extensor strength. The ICC coefficients of test-retest and intertester reliability were 0.993 (p = 0.000) and 0.986 (p = 0.000), respectively.

The 6MTW was shown to be valid and reliable for the assessment of the walking ability of patients with stroke and can be recommended especially in clinics with limited space.

Lam HS, Lau FW, Chan GK, Sykes K. The validity and reliability of a 6-Metre Timed Walk for the functional assessment of patients with stroke. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 2010 May;26(4):251-5

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