The 6 min walk test was initially introduced for the assessment of athletes. It turns out to be a good indicator of the general condition and the morbidity of patients overall, especially those with chronic diseases.
The test should be interpreted with caution in patients over the age of 80 and obese patients with a BMI > 35. Young patients (under 40) may not have conventional values.
Who can perform this test? Any sports health actor trained in carrying out this test. Coverage by health insurance after prescription of this test by the attending physician can be done when a physiotherapist is the operator of this assessment.
Make sure you have already obtained a medical history of the patient taking into account all the precautions and contraindications to stress testing. The patient should wear comfortable clothes, appropriate shoes and have eaten at least two hours before the test. He can hydrate before the test.
It is advisable to check:
Cons-indications to respect:
Rise in temperature or abnormal fatigue.
Unfavorable weather (cold, heat, air pollution).
Tachycardia before the start of the test.
systolic BP > 180 mmHg or diastolic BP > 100 mmHg.
Unstable angina, myocardial infarction less than a month old.
Abnormal dyspnea and initial chest pain.
Any abnormal and unusual clinical signs.
Start the test by asking the patient to Start walking now.
The walking track should be the same layout for all patient tests: the ground should be flat with no obstacles and a pleasant and comfortable surface. The length without turn must be at least 25 meters.
Ambient temperature and humidity should be bearable around the usual for the season.
Then: monitor the patient for any adverse signs or symptoms.
Encourage him during the test.
Ask the patient to place the marker on the distance traveled or record it immediately.
The patient can continue to walk slowly or rest immediately.
You can resume heart rate and blood pressure.