The 6-Minute Walk Test and Person-Reported Outcomes in Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Typically Developing Controls: Longitudinal Comparisons and Clinically-Meaningful Changes Over One Year

Erik Henricson, Richard Abresch, Jay J Han, Alina Nicorici, Erica Goude Keller, Evan de Bie, Craig M McDonald
PLoS Currents 2013 July 8, 5

INTRODUCTION: Data is currently lacking anchoring a 30-meter longitudinal change in walking ability by 6-minute walk test (6MWT) in Duchenne muscular dystrophy as a minimal clinically important difference and "clinically meaningful" person-reported outcomes (PROs) at differing levels of ambulatory ability.

METHODS: We describe correlation between measures, 1-year change in measures, and correlation of 1-year changes between measures for the six-minute walk test (6MWT), 10-meter run/walk velocity, PedsQL and POSNA Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) in 24 4-12 year old. ambulatory DMD and 36 typical controls, and determine if minimal clinically important differences (MCID) of PROs contribute to different estimates of 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) change at differing levels of ability.

RESULTS: PedsQL total and physical function and PODCI global, transfer/mobility and sports/physical function PROs demonstrated significant differences between DMD and controls (p<0.00001). In DMD, 6MWD and 10-meter run/walk velocity were correlated with PODCI domain scores, with the transfer/mobility scale showing the strongest relationship (r=0.79 and r=0.76). In DMD, 6MWD distance and 10-meter run/walk velocity weakly correlated with PedsQL domain scores. In DMD, 6MWD, 10-meter run/walk velocity, and PODCI global and transfer and basic mobility demonstrated significant one-year change and exceeded the amount of change representing MCID. In DMD, 6MWD change highly correlated with change in PODCI global and PODCI transfer/mobility scores (r=0.76 and r=0.93). PODCI global and PODCI transfer/mobility scales provided the best estimates of 6MWT performance. A "meaningful" 4.5 point change in a low PODCI transfer / basic mobility score of 30 to 34.5 was associated with a 5.6m 6MWD change from 150.3 to 155.9m. At PODCI levels closer to normative levels for healthy controls, the change in 6MWD distance associated with a "meaningful" change in PODCI scores was almost 46m.

DISCUSSION: At lower levels of function, smaller increases in 6MWD result in meaningful change in quality of life (QoL) instrument scores. At higher levels of function, larger increases may be necessary to achieve the same QoL change score.

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