- OBJECTIVE: To assess the reliability and construct validity of the 6 minute walk (6MW) in persons with fibromyalgia (FM) and to determine an equation for predicting peak oxygen consumption (pVO2) from the distance covered in 6 minutes. METHODS: Ninety-six women who met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for FM were tested on the 6MW and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). A subset (n = 23) were tested on a separate day for pVO2 during a symptom-limited, incremental treadmill test. Twelve subjects repeated the 6MW five times over 10 days. Heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded for each walk. Intraclass correlations were used to determine the reliability of the 6MW. Validity was examined by correlating the 6MW with pVO2 and the FIQ. Body mass index (BMI) and 6MW were independent variables in a stepwise regression to predict pVO2. RESULTS: A significant increase in distance occurred from Walk 1 to Walk 2 (p = 0.000) with the distance maintained on the remaining walks (p = 0.148) The correlations of the 6MW with the FIQ and pVO2 were -0.325 and 0.657, respectively. The regression equation to predict pVO2 from 6MW distance and BMI was: pVO2 (ml/kg/min) = 21.48 + (-0.4316 x BMI) + [0.0304 x distance(m)] (R = 0.76, R2 = 0.66). CONCLUSION: When using the 6MW it is necessary to conduct a practice walk, with the second walk taken as the baseline measure. It was determined from the correlations that the 6MW cannot replace the FIQ as a measure of function. The 6MW may be used as an indicator of aerobic fitness, although obtaining VO2 by means of a graded exercise test is preferable.