Comparison of the six-minute walk test with a cycle-based cardiopulmonary exercise test in people following curative intent treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.
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This study is aimed to (i) compare both the magnitude of impairment in exercise capacity and exercise responses measured during the six-minute walk test (6MWT) and the cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) and (ii) investigate the effect of test repetition on six-minute walk distance (6MWD) in people following curative intent treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Twenty participants (67 ± 10 years; 14 females), 6–10 weeks following lobectomy, underwent a CPET and two 6MWTs. Peak exercise responses, dyspnoea and leg fatigue, as well as heart rate (HR) and oxygen saturation (SpO2) during the 6MWT, were compared to those during the CPET. Compared with exercise capacity when expressed as peak rate of oxygen consumption (%pred) measured during the CPET, exercise capacity when expressed as 6MWD (%pred) was less impaired (81 ± 10 vs. 63 ± 15 %pred; p < 0.001). Compared with the CPET, the 6MWT elicited lower peak HR (119 ± 15 vs. 128 ± 18 beats minute−1; p = 0.02), lower SpO2 (93 ± 2 vs. 95 ± 3%; p < 0.05), less dyspnoea (3.1 ± 1.6 vs. 6.9 ± 2.6; p < 0.01) and less leg fatigue (2.0 ± 1.9 vs. 6.8 ± 2.4; p < 0.01). The 6MWD increased 19 ± 19 metre (4 ± 4%) with test repetition (p < 0.001). In people following curative intent treatment for NSCLC, the 6MWT appears to elicit sub-maximal exercise responses when compared with the CPET. There is a significant effect of test repetition on 6MWD.
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