Validating the six-minute walk test as a measure of recovery after elective colon resection surgery.

Moriello C, Mayo NE, Feldman L, Carli F.

This study found evidence for construct and longitudinal validity, and sensitivity to change for the six-minute walk test (6MWT) as a measure of postsurgical recovery. A group of 63 patients undergoing elective colon resection were included in the randomised clinical trial. Functional walking capacity was measured using the 6MWT before surgery, and at 3 and 6 weeks after surgery. The results showed that at 3 weeks, 26 (41%) patients recovered to baseline or greater on the 6MWT distance, and 37 (59%) were at baseline or better by 6 weeks post discharge. At all time points, the 6MWT distance correlated with age, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score of surgical risk, albumin, the physical function subscale of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and the physical component summary score of the SF-36. Baseline 6MWT distance correlated with postoperative 6MWT recovery, and baseline SF-36 and ASA were associated with postoperative recovery. Patients with intraoperative complications had a clinically relevant lower 6MWT than those without complications at all time points.

Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation. 2008; 89 (6) :1083-1089

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