Hello and welcome kita I hope you enjoy your stay here.
Sometimes the walk test is used to assess whether a COPD patient needs a supplementary oxygen supply. It's also used at Pulmonary Rehab courses to determine whether the physios feel you are up to the course.
At Pulmonary Rehab the patient's blood oxygen saturation levels are taken using an oxymeter (the gadget that goes on the end of your finger) then asked to walk between Point A & Point B (I'm not sure of the distance involved). After the first minute a beeper sounds and you have to try to increase your speed. The beeper sounds again after another short while and means you have to try to increase speed again. This goes on for 6 minutes or for however long the patient can manage without distress or discomfort.
At the end of the test the blood oxygen saturation levels are measured again. If they have gone down considerably then it's a sign that supplementary oxygen may be needed.
I only know this because I'm on my second week of Pulmonary Rehab and that's what the physio did at our first session.
Hope this helps you, but if you have any further concerns don't hesitate to ring the BLF Helpline, they are a mine of very useful information. Their number is 03000 030 555 and they are open business hours Monday to Friday.
All the best... and remember .....
Keep on keeping on