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Authors’ response: what determines which 6MWT is conventional?
  1. Emmylou Beekman1,2,
  2. Ilse Mesters1,
  3. Rik Gosselink3,4,
  4. Onno C P van Schayck5,
  5. Rob A de Bie1
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology, CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  2. 2The Research Centre for Autonomy and Participation for Persons with a Chronic Illness, Zuyd University, Heerlen, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  4. 4Department of Respiratory Rehabilitation and Respiratory Division, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
  5. 5Department of Family Medicine, CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Emmylou Beekman, Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, Maastricht 6200 MD, The Netherlands; E.Beekman{at}maastrichtuniversity.nl

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We thank the co-chairs of the joint American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS) task force for their comments on our paper and interest in our article on reference values for the 6-min walk test (6MWT) performed over a 10m course. In their correspondence, the shorter course length is considered as one specific protocol deviation from the ATS statement1 that does not represent a conventional 6MWT. What is the ‘conventional’ 6MWT? Fourteen years ago, the ATS guidelines were published with the advice to test on a 30m course. However, at that time some studies used other course lengths, as was mentioned in the statement.1 Since then, more studies2–4 and healthcare providers have used a shorter course length due to space limitations. Moreover, …

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