Test-retest reliability of the 10-metre fast walk test and 6-minute walk test in ambulatory school-aged children with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2008 May;50(5):370-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.02048.x. Epub 2008 Mar 18.


Short-term test-retest reliability of the 10-metre fast walk test (10mFWT) and 6-minute walk test (6MWT) was evaluated in 31 ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP), with subgroup analyses in Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) Levels I (n=9), II (n=8), and III (n=14). Sixteen females and 15 males participated, mean age 9 years 5 months (SD 3y 7mo, range 4y 3mo-18y 2mo). Twenty had spastic diplegia, while the others had another form of CP. Retest interval varied from 1 to 4 weeks (mean 10.6d [SD 6.4]). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) estimated reliability. The 10mFWT ICC was 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.65-0.90) across participants, and >0.59 in GMFCS subgroups (95% CI lower bound >0.01). The 6MWT ICC was 0.98, and >0.90 in GMFCS subgroups (95% CI lower bound >0.64). Bland-Altman plots indicated bias towards higher 6MWT retest distances in GMFCS Level I. Minimum detectable change (95% CI) was 61.9, 64.0, and 47.4m for the 6MWT within GMFCS Levels I, II, and III respectively. The conclusion is that while the 10mFWT showed inadequate test-retest reliability given its wide 95% CI, the 6MWT demonstrated good to excellent reliability. Investigation of the need for a practice walk when administering the 6MWT with children in GMFCS Level I is recommended to establish their fastest pace.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dependent Ambulation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Walking / physiology*