2017 Volume 56 Issue 15 Pages 1949-1955
Objective The 6-min walk test (6MWT) is a simple test that is used to examine the exercise tolerance and outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although the 6MWT is useful for assessing exercise tolerance, it is difficult to evaluate time-dependent parameters such as the walking pattern. A modified 6MWT has been devised to assess the walking pattern by calculating the number of steps per second (NSPS). This study was performed to investigate walking pattern of COPD patients in the modified 6MWT before and after a single inhalation of the short-acting β2-agonist procaterol.
Methods Nine male COPD patients participated in this study. The 6MWT was performed before and after the inhalation of procaterol hydrochloride. A digital video recording of the 6MWT was made. After the 6MWT, the number of steps walked by the subject in each 5-s period was counted manually with a hand counter while viewing the walking test on the video monitor.
Results After the inhalation of procaterol, the 6-min walking distance increased significantly in comparison to baseline (p<0.01). The mean NSPS was also significantly increased after the inhalation of procaterol in comparison to baseline (p<0.01). The walking pattern was displayed on a graph of time versus NSPS, and the walking pace was shown by a graph of time versus cumulative steps.
Conclusion The analysis of the COPD patients' walking test performance and their walking pattern and pace in the 6MWT may help to evaluate the effects of drug treatment.