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Feasibility and Reliability of Two Different Walking Tests in People With Severe Intellectual and Sensory Disabilities

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Background  The purpose of this study is to describe feasibility and test–retest reliability of the six‐minute walking distance test (6MWD) and an adapted shuttle run test (aSRT) in persons with severe intellectual and sensory (multiple) disabilities.

Materials and Methods  Forty‐seven persons with severe multiple disabilities, with Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) grade I and II and wearing a heart rate monitor, performed the 6MWD and the aSRT twice.

Results  Ninety‐six per cent of the participants completed both tests successfully. Wilcoxon signed‐rank test revealed no significant differences between test and retest (P < 0.05). Intraclass correlation coefficients for all variables were ≥0.90. Limits of agreement for aSRT in GMFCS II subjects were insufficient.

Conclusion  Six‐minute walking distance test is feasible and reliable for measuring functional exercise capacity in GMFCS I and II participants with severe multiple disabilities. aSRT is feasible and reliable for measuring aerobic capacity in GMFCS I participants. Compared with others, participants with severe multiple disabilities achieved poor results in 6MWD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: De Brink, Veenweg 20, Vries, The Netherlands 2: Human Movement Studies Department, University Medical Center, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands 3: Applied Sciences in Health Care and Nursing, Hanze University, Groningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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