Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of the 6-minute and 2-minute walk tests in frail older persons.
Design: Pre/post–design with measures at admission and discharge to in-patient geriatric rehabilitation.
Participants: Fifty-two subjects (35 women, 17 men; age 80 ± 8 years).
Results: Only 1 of the first 8 subjects could complete a single trial of the 6-minute walk test at admission. The 2-minute walk test was feasible in this population, with 50 (out of 52) subjects able to complete at least one trial at admission. There was an increase in distance walked when three trials of the 2-minute walk were performed, at both admission and discharge (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The 2-minute walk test is a feasible measure of functional capacity and was better tolerated than the 6-minute walk test in older persons in geriatric rehabilitation. Consideration needs to be given to the potential of a training effect or the need for repeated measures to obtain a best estimate for the 2-minute walk test.