Factors Relating to 6 Minute Walk Performance in Heart Failure Patients
Reliable, responsive, and valid testing techniques are important in assessing symptoms, left ventricular function, and response to therapy in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Although left ventricular ejection fraction and New York Heart Association functional classification are valid mesures of left ventricular function and symptoms, respectively, they may be relatively insensitive to changes in patient performance. The 6 min walk (6MW) is a simple, inexpensive, and safe test of functional capacity. Patients, regardless of the severity of their heart failure, can perform the 6MW. The test is performed by having patients walk a 33 meter course for 6 min, and at the end of the allotted time the total distance covered is measured. Studies have demonstrated that the 6MW is a reproducible and valid assessment of functional capacity in patients with CHF. The 6MW performance has also been demonstrated to be an independent predictor of mortality and morbidity in heart failure patients. Therefore, the 6MW is useful for the clinical assessment of heart failure patients and, because of ease of administration, can be used in large clinical trials to assess the effects of therapy for these patients.
KeywordsPlacebo Cardiol Digoxin Rosen Bronchitis
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