Pulmonology Pulmonology
Pulmonol 2018;24:16-22 - Vol. 24 Num.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.08.007
Original article
Agreement of different reference equations to classify patients with COPD as having reduced or preserved 6MWD
F.V.C. Machadoa, G.W. Biscaa,b, A.A. Moritaa, A. Rodriguesa, V.S. Probsta, K.C. Furlanettoa,c, F. Pittaa, N.A. Hernandesa,,
a Laboratory of Research in Respiratory Physiotherapy (LFIP), Department of Physiotherapy, State University of Londrina (UEL), Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
b Centro Universitário Filadélfia (UniFil), Av. Juscelino Kubitscheck, 1626, 86020-000 Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
c Research Centre in Health Sciences (CPCS), University of Northern Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
Received 28 April 2017, Accepted 31 August 2017

Interpretation of the six-minute walk distance (6MWD) is enhanced by using recommended reference equations. Whenever possible, the choice of equation should be region-specific. A potential problem is that different equations for the 6MWD may have been developed for the same population, and it may be complicated to choose the most suitable.


To verify the agreement of different reference equations in classifying patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as having reduced or preserved 6MWD.


159 patients with COPD performed the six-minute walk test according to international standardization. They were classified as having reduced 6MWD if it was below the lower limit of normal. Five Brazilian equations (Iwama; Britto1; Britto2; Dourado; Soares) and the two non-Brazilian equations most cited worldwide (Troosters; Enright) were used. The agreement for patients classified as reduced or preserved 6MWD was verified by Cohen's Kappa (pair-to-pair) analysis. The proportion of patients classified as having reduced walked distance was compared by the Chi-squared test.


Agreement between equations varied largely in classifying subjects as having reduced or preserved 6MWD (Kappa: 0.10–0.82). Brazilian equations with the highest agreement were Iwama, Britto1 and Britto2 (Kappa>0.75). The proportion of patients classified as having reduced 6MWD was statistically similar only between equations in which the agreement was higher than 0.70.


Even reference equations from the same country vary considerably in the classification of reduced or preserved 6MWD, and it is recommended that the region-specific ones be used as they give with higher agreement for similar and comparable interpretation of the patients’ functional exercise capacity.

Pulmonary disease, Chronic obstructive, Exercise tolerance, Exercise test, Walk test, Reference values
Pulmonol 2018;24:16-22 - Vol. 24 Num.1 DOI: 10.1016/j.rppnen.2017.08.007
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