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2 Minute Walk Test
The instrument is freely available here: 2 Minute Walk Test
NeuroRehab Supplemental - Highly Recommended
Recommendations for Use: Indicated for studies requiring a measure of walking endurance.
Supplemental - Highly Recommended: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)*
*Recommendations for Use: Indicated for studies targeted at walking function where the intended population is more severely impaired and may be unable to walk 6 minutes.
Supplemental: Myotonic Dystrophy (DM)
Exploratory: Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (CMD), Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), Mitochondrial Disease (Mito) and SCI-Pediatric (age 4-18)
Short Description of Instrument
Construct measured: Aerobic Capacity, Functional Mobility, Gait
Generic vs. disease specific: Generic
Intended respondent: Participant
#  of items:  N/A
# of subscales and names of sub-scales: N/A
# of items per sub-scale: N/A
Comments/Special Instructions
Background: The Two Minute Walk Test (2MWT) was designed to measure the distance an individual can walk without assistance during a two-minute period. The individual is instructed to walk the maximum distance possible in the 2 minutes provided, while being allowed to rest if needed. Individuals who are unable to walk without assistance should not be allowed to attempt this test.
SCI-Pediatric-specific: Assistive devices can be used but should be kept consistent and documented.
NeuroRehab Specific: Measurement of walking endurance is a critical aspect of understanding a person's overall walking capacity. A performance-based measure is most suited to understanding capacity. The ideal measure would require limited equipment and be applicable across multiple populations.
Both the 2MWT and the Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT) are used as measures of functional capacity, but the briefer duration of the 2MWT may be less burdensome in busy settings when many people may need to be tested or many tests performed, or when attention span limits participation in prolonged activities (e.g., very young children or those with cognitive challenges), or for those with greater walking limitations (e.g., advanced multiple sclerosis). In contrast, when trying to discriminate subtle differences in walking ability amongst those with greater walking capacity, the 2MWT may be limited by a floor effect compared to the 6MWT.
Not needed for conditions with only upper limb impairment.
Scoring is completed by recording the distance covered during the two-minute period.
Strengths/Weaknesses: The 2MWT may be preferred over the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) because of its use in the aged population and in individuals with lower extremity amputations, cystic fibrosis, traumatic brain injury, and neurological disorders as a measure of endurance (Witherspoon et al., 2019). The 2MWT can assess a patient's walking speed and it correlates well with the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) (Kosak & Smith, 2005; Witherspoon et al., 2019).
Bohannon RW, Bubela D, Magasi S, McCreath H, Wang Y-C, Reuben D, Rymer WZ, Gershon R. Comparison of walking performance over the first 2 minutes and the full 6 minutes of the Six-Minute Walk Test. BMC Res Notes. 2014;7:269.
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Brooks D, Parsons J, Tran D, Jeng B, Gorczyca B, Newton J, Lo V, Dear C, Silaj E, Hawn T. The two-minute walk test as a measure of functional capacity in cardiac surgery patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Sep;85(9):1525-1530.
Brooks D, Hunter JP, Parsons J, Livsey E, Quirt J, Devlin M. Reliability of the two-minute walk test in individuals with transtibial amputation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;83(11):1562-1565.
Brooks D, Parsons J, Hunter JP, Devlin M, Walker J. The 2-minute walk test as a measure of functional improvement in persons with lower limb amputation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001;82(10):1478-1483.
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Canning CG, Ada L, Johnson JJ, McWhirter S. Walking capacity in mild to moderate Parkinson's disease. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;87(3):371-375.
Connelly DM, Thomas BK, Cliffe SJ, Perry WM, Smith RE. Clinical utility of the 2-minute walk test for older adults living in long-term care. Physiother Can. 2009 Spring;61(2):78-87.
Ellis T, Katz DI, White DK, DePiero TJ, Hohler AD, Saint-Hilaire M. Effectiveness of an inpatient multidisciplinary rehabilitation program for people with Parkinson disease. Phys Ther. 2008;88(7):812-819.
Gijbels D, Dalgas U, Romberg A, de Groot V, Bethoux F, Vaney C, Gebara B, Medina CS, Maamâgi H, Rasova K, de Noordhout BM, Knuts K, Feys P. Which walking capacity tests to use in multiple sclerosis? A multicentre study providing the basis for a core set. Mult Scler. 2012;18(3):364-371.
Gijbels D, Eijnde BO, Feys P. Comparison of the 2- and 6-minute walk test in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2011;17(10):1269-1272.
Gijbels D, Alders G, Van Hoof E, Charlier C, Roelants M, Broekmans T, Eijnde BO, Feys P. Predicting habitual walking performance in multiple sclerosis: relevance of capacity and self-report measures. Mult Scler. 2010;16(5):618-626.
Hiengkaew V, Jitaree K, Chaiyawat P. Minimal detectable changes of the Berg Balance Scale, Fugl-Meyer Assessment Scale, Timed "Up & Go" Test, gait speeds, and 2-minute walk test in individuals with chronic stroke with different degrees of ankle plantarflexor tone. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012;93(7):1201-1208.
Kosak M, Smith T. Comparison of the 2-, 6-, and 12-minute walk tests in patients with stroke. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2005;42(1):103-107.
Lemay JF, Nadeau S. Standing balance assessment in ASIA D paraplegic and tetraplegic participants: concurrent validity of the Berg Balance Scale. Spinal Cord. 2010;48(3):245-250.
Leung AS, Chan KK, Sykes K, Chan KS. Reliability, validity, and responsiveness of a 2-min walk test to assess exercise capacity of COPD patients. Chest. 2006;130(1):119-125.
Light KE & Bebrman AL. The 2-minute walk test: a tool for evaluating walking endurance in clients with Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Phys Ther. 1997;21(4):136-139.
McGavin CR, Gupta SP, McHardy GJ. Twelve-minute walking test for assessing disability in chronic bronchitis. Br Med J. 1976;1(6013):822-823.
Merlini L, Bertini E, Minetti C, Mongini T, Morandi L, Angelini C, Vita G. Motor function-muscle strength relationship in spinal muscular atrophy. Muscle Nerve. 2004;29(4):548-552.
Miller PA, Moreland J, Stevenson TJ. Measurement properties of a standardized version of the two-minute walk test for individuals with neurological dysfunction. Physiother Can. 2005;54(4):241-248.
Personius KE, Pandya S, King WM, Tawil R, McDermott MP. Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy natural history study: standardization of testing procedures and reliability of measurements. The FSH DY Group. Phys Ther. 1994;74(3):253-263.
Resnik L, Borgia M. Reliability of outcome measures for people with lower-limb amputations: distinguishing true change from statistical error. Phys Ther. 2011;91(4):555-565.
Reuben DB, Magasi S, McCreath HE, Bohannon RW, Wang YC, Bubela DJ, Rymer WZ, Beaumont J, Rine RM, Lai JS, Gershon RC. Motor assessment using the NIH Toolbox. Neurology. 2013;80(11 Suppl 3):S65-S75.
Rossier P, Wade DT. Validity and reliability comparison of 4 mobility measures in patients presenting with neurologic impairment. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001;82(1):9-13.
Salavati M, Mazaheri M, Khosrozadeh F, Mousavi SM, Negahban H, Shojaei H. The Persian version of locomotor capabilities index: translation, reliability and validity in individuals with lower limb amputation. Qual Life Res. 2011;20(1):1-7.
Scalzitti DI, Harwood KJ, Maring JR, Leach SJ, Ruckert EA, Costello E. Validation of the 2-Minute Walk Test with the 6-Minute Walk Test and other functional measures in persons with multiple sclerosis. Int J MS Care. 2018;20(4):158-163.
Schenkman M, Ellis T, Christiansen C, Barón AE, Tickle-Degnen L, Hall DA, Wagenaar R. Profile of functional limitations and task performance among people with early- and middle-stage Parkinson disease. Phys Ther. 2011;91(9):1339-1354.
Stewart DA, Burns JMA, Dunn SG, Roberts MA. The two-minute walking test: a sensitive index of mobility in the rehabilitation of elderly patients. Clin Rehabil. 1990; 4(4):273-276.
White DK, Wagenaar RC, Ellis TD, Tickle-Degnen L. Changes in walking activity and endurance following rehabilitation for people with Parkinson disease. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009;90(1):43-50.
Witherspoon JW, Vasavada R, Logaraj RH, Waite M, Collins J, Shieh C, Meilleur K, BÖnnemann C, Jain M. Two-minute versus 6-minute walk distances during 6-minute walk test in neuromuscular disease: Is the 2-minute walk test an effective alternative to a 6-minute walk test? Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2019;23(1):165-170.
NeuroRehab Specific Reference:
Moore JL, Potter K, Blankshain K, Kaplan S, O'Dwyer LC, Sullivan JE. A Core Set of Outcome Measures for Adults with Neurologic Conditions Undergoing Rehabilitation, Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: July 2018;42(3):174-220.
Document last updated January 2022