Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Medicine, G R Medical College, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India

2 Department of Oncoanesthesia and Palliative Care, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

3 Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, India


BACKGROUND: The world is worsely hit by the COVID‑19 pandemic resulting in increased morbidity 
and mortality. Increased mortality has been observed in older adults with multiple comorbidities. 
Six‑minute walk distance (6MWD) at admission can help us to guide the requirement of oxygen 
during hospital stay that can be used to determine which patient can be managed at home.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was a prospective observational study conducted on 
COVID‑19 patients admitted at AIIMS, New Delhi, from October to December 2020. Patients aged more 
than 60 years were included in the study and underwent 6‑min walk tests. Polypharmacy and multimorbidity 
were also assessed along with dyspnea which was measured on BORG scale. P < 0.05 was considered 
statistically significant. Statistical software STATA (version 14.2) was used for all the analyses.
RESULTS: The mean age of the study population was 68.76 (7.4). Oxygen saturation prior to 
the 6‑MWT was normal and has significantly higher than the post test (P ≤ 0.001). 6MWD was 
significantly correlated with pre values of oxygen saturation. 6MWD was observed more in patients 
who did not require oxygen during hospital stay. Self‑reported dyspnea, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, 
and systolic blood pressure were significantly associated with the patients who had an oxygen 
requirement during the hospital stay.
CONCLUSION: Self‑reported dyspnea after 6MWT was found to be associated with oxygen 
requirement during hospital stay. Patients who have covered more distance in 6‑min walk test have 
less oxygen requirement during hospital stay hence can be managed at home. This will reduce the 
health‑care burden and will help to tackle the outburst during the ongoing pandemic.


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