Use of the speed achieved on the 6MWT for programming aerobic training in patients recovering from severe COVID-19: an observational study

María Fernanda del Valle, Jorge Valenzuela, Gabriel Nasri Marzuca-Nassr, Loretto Godoy, Mariano del Sol, Pablo A. Lizana, Máximo Escobar-Cabello, Rodrigo Muñoz-Cofré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Patients who suffered severe COVID-19 need pulmonary rehabilitation. Training may be prescribed objectively based on the maximum speed in the six-minute walk test. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a personalized pulmonary rehabilitation program based on the six-minute walk test speed for post-COVID-19 patients. Methods: Observational quasi-experimental study. The pulmonary rehabilitation program consisted of 8 weeks of training, twice a week for 60 minutes per session of supervised exercise. Additionally, the patients carried out home respiratory training. Patients were evaluated by exercise test, spirometry and the Fatigue Assessment Scale before and after the eight-week pulmonary rehabilitation program. Results: After the pulmonary rehabilitation program, forced vital capacity increased from 2.47 ± 0.60 to 3.06 ± 0.77 L (p <.001) and the six-minute walk test result increased from 363.50 ± 88.87 to 480.9 ± 59.25 m (p <.001). In fatigue perception, a significant decrease was observed, from 24.92 ± 7.01 to 19.10 ± 7.07 points (p <.01). Isotime evaluation of the Incremental Test and the Continuous Test showed a significant reduction in heart rate, dyspnoea and fatigue. Conclusion: The eight-week personalized pulmonary rehabilitation program prescribed on the basis of the six-minute walk test speed improved respiratory function, fatigue perception and the six-minute walk test result in post-COVID-19 patients.KEY MESSAGES COVID-19 is a multisystem disease with common complications affecting the respiratory, cardiac and musculoskeletal systems. The 6MWT speed-based training plan allowed for increased speed and incline during the eight-week RP program. Aerobic, strength and flexibility training reduced HR, dyspnoea and fatigue in severe post-COVID-19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-897
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Coronavirus disease
  • exercise
  • pulmonary rehabilitation


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