Strong correlation between the 6-minute walk test and accelerometry functional outcomes in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Zoe E Davidson, Monique M Ryan, Andrew J Kornberg, Karen Z Walker, Helen Truby
Journal of Child Neurology 2015, 30 (3): 357-63
Accelerometry provides information on habitual physical capability that may be of value in the assessment of function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This preliminary investigation describes the relationship between community ambulation measured by the StepWatch activity monitor and the current standard of functional assessment, the 6-minute walk test, in ambulatory boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 13). All participants completed a 6-minute walk test and wore the StepWatch™ monitor for 5 consecutive days. Both the 6-minute walk test and StepWatch accelerometry identified a decreased capacity for ambulation in boys with Duchenne compared to healthy controls. There were strong, significant correlations between 6-minute walk distance and all StepWatch parameters in affected boys only (r = 0.701-0.804). These data proffer intriguing observations that warrant further exploration. Specifically, accelerometry outcomes may compliment the 6-minute walk test in assessment of therapeutic interventions for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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