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Abstract

Background: Walking speed is considered the sixth vital sign because it is a valid, reliable, and sensitive measure for assessing functional status in various populations. Purpose: The current study assessed agreement in walking speed using the 6-meter walk test, (6MWT) 10-meter walk test (10MWT), 2-minute walk test (2minWT), and 6-minute walk test (6minWT). We also determined differences in walking speed. Methods: Seventy-three healthy adults (44 females, 29 males; mean [SD] age=31.36 [10.33] years) participated. Lafayette Electronic timing devices measured walking speed for the 6MWT and 10MWT. Measuring wheels and stopwatches measured walking distance and speed for the 2minWT and 6minWT. Participants completed 1 trial, and all tests were administered simultaneously. Results: The intraclass correlation coefficient (2, 4) for the different measures of walking speed was excellent at 0.90 (95% confidence intervals, 0.86-0.93). The correlation was 0.95 between 6MWT and 10MWT, 0.94 between 2minWT and 6minWT, 0.67 between 6MWT and 2minWT, 0.63 between 10MWT and 2minWT, and 0.59 between 10MWT and 6minWT (all p < 0.05). No differences in walking speed were found between the four walking tests. Conclusion: Administration of any of the four walking tests provided reliable measurement of walking speed.

Author Bio(s)

James R. Roush, PT, PhD, AT,C, AT, is Professor Emeritus at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.

Dillon Eurek, PT, DPT, was a student at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.

Tanner Hawk, PT, DPT, was a student at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.

Daniel Kiflu, PT, DPT, was a student at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.

Austin Wallis, PT, DPT, was a student at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.

John D. Heick, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, NCS, SCS, is an Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Deborah Goggin, MA, for assistance in editing this paper.

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