Skip to main content

Table 1 Key attributes and limitations of the 6-min walk test in patients with IPF

From: Utility of the six-minute walk test in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Attributes Limitations
• Easy and inexpensive to perform • Results affected by multiple factors
Comorbidities that affect ability to walk or desaturation
Use of supplemental oxygen
Specific instructions given to patient, which may be affected by language barriers
Training effects
• Reproducible
• Replicates activities of daily living
• Provides a functional measure of the patient’s overall cardiopulmonary reserve
• 6MWD correlates with measures of lung function and HRQL
• 6MWD, and particularly decline in 6MWD, are strong predictors of mortality
• Provides no insight into mechanism/s of exercise limitation
• Unclear which parameter measured during 6MWT is of greatest prognostic value
• Use of different methodologies across studies hinders comparison of results
  1. 6MWD 6-min walk distance, 6MWT 6-min walk test, HRQL health-related quality of life