Relationship between lower limb muscle strength and 6-minute walk test performance in stroke patients
Didier Pradon, Nicolas Roche, Lievyn Enette, Raphaël Zory
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if lower limb muscle strength and/or spasticity are related to performance in the 6-min walk test (6MWT) in stroke patients.
Methods: A total of 24 patients (12 males and 12 females) participated in the study. Muscle strength (Medical Research Council (MRC) scale) and spasticity (modified Ashworth scale) were assessed prior to the 6MWT. Heart rate was recorded at rest and during the 6MWT. Subjects were divided into two groups: (i) those with a high MRC sum score, and (ii) those with a low MRC sum score. The relationship between the 6MWT distance and the other parameters was analysed using a Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
Results: There was a significant and positive relationship between 6MWT distance and lower limb muscle strength (p = 0.001), whereas no significant correlations were found between the 6MWT distance and spasticity, resting heart rate and heart rate during the 6MWT.
Conclusion: The 6MWT distance may be a good indicator of lower limb muscle strength, and lower limb strengthening may improve gait capacity in stroke patients.