Background: The aim of this study was to compare performance on the six-minute walk test (6MWT) performed over 15 m and 30 m courses by children and youths with cerebral palsy (CP).
Methods: Children and youths with CP at Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I–IV performed the 6MWT in a straight 15 m-long corridor (first trial) and 30 m-long corridor (second trial). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated to evaluate the agreement between the 6MWT results for the two corridor lengths.
Results: We included 82 children and youths with CP (36 girls, 46 boys), with a mean age of 11.7 years (SD 4.2, range 5–22 years). There was high agreement between the results of the two 6MWTs: ICC 0.93 (95% confidence interval 0.76–0.97). The total walking distance was longer for the 30 m course (median 399 m, range 44–687 m) than the 15 m course (median 357 m, range 24–583 m).
Conclusions: We observed good agreement for the performance of the 6MWT in the 15 m and 30 m courses, although the total walking distance was greater for the 30 m course. We recommend that the same distance is used when evaluating changes in walking ability for an individual child. Both distances are appropriate when measuring endurance in children and youths with CP.