Children and adolescents six minute walk test reference values article summary
Article Title: Reference Values for the Six-Minute Walk Test in Healthy Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review was to compare and contrast the available reference values and six-minute walk test equation predictions in health children/adolescents across multiple studies.
Population: Of the 12 studies included in this systematic review, the total number of included participants across studies was n = 5615. Though there were difference age ranges examined in each of the 12 studies selected, the range across studies was 4-18 years of age. All studies included healthy children/adolescents without musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular or respiratory disorders from 12 different countries. 10 of the 12 studies included both girls and boys. Of the remaining two studies, one examined only girls and one examined only boys.
Methods: Collection of data/studies followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Potential studies were identified from the following research databases: PubMed, EMBASE, COCHRANE, LILACS, IBECS, PAHO, WHO, WHOLIS, SciELO, and VHL. Search terms within these databases included: “Walk test”, “Children”, “Reference”, and “Adolescent”. Once potential articles were identified, two reviewers independently examined the title and abstract to determine the studies relevancy to review. Inclusion criteria of each study was contingent upon: population age, BMI, and gender, If the 6MWT was in accordance with the American Thoracic Society Guidelines, the length of the corridor in which the 6MWT was performed, Instructions and encouragement provided, average distance walked, side effects, and standardization. If there was a dispute between the two independent reviewers in regards to study eligibility, a third reviewer was brought in to assist.
Outcome measures: Reference value and reference equation for 6MWT for health children in different countries
Results: This systematic review showed that 6MWT reference values and reference equations for healthy children differed between countries.
Strengths: Strengths of this study include the number of subjects included across studies and the availability of 6MWT data from 12 different countries.
Limitations: Limitations of this study include the wide age range of participants included and differences between administration of the 6MWT between studies.
Conclusion: This systematic review found that reference values and reference equations for the 6MWT in healthy children and adolescents are different from country to country. Therefore, the authors recommend that clinicians be careful not to use reference values that are not associated with the country the patient is from or in.