Posts Tagged dual task

[Abstract] Dual-task training effects on motor and cognitive functional abilities in individuals with stroke: a systematic review

This systematic review aimed to examine the effects of dual-task balance and mobility training in people with stroke.

An extensive electronic databases literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, PubMed, EBSCO, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, SCOPUS, and Wiley Online Library. Randomized controlled studies that assessed the effects of dual-task training in stroke patients were included for the review (last search in December 2017). The methodological quality was evaluated using the Cochrane Collaboration recommendation, and level of evidence was determined according to the criteria described by the Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine.

About 13 articles involving 457 participants were included in this systematic review. All had substantial risk of bias and thus provided level IIb evidence only. Dual-task mobility training was found to induce more improvement in single-task walking function (standardized effect size = 0.14–2.24), when compared with single-task mobility training. Its effect on dual-task walking function was not consistent. Cognitive-motor balance training was effective in improving single-task balance function (standardized effect size = 0.27–1.82), but its effect on dual-task balance ability was not studied. The beneficial effect of dual-task training on cognitive function was provided by one study only and thus inconclusive.

There is some evidence that dual-task training can improve single-task walking and balance function in individuals with stroke. However, any firm recommendation cannot be made due to the weak methodology of the studies reviewed.


via Dual-task training effects on motor and cognitive functional abilities in individuals with stroke: a systematic review – Ying He, Lei Yang, Jing Zhou, Liqing Yao, Marco Yiu Chung Pang, 2018

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] Effects of dual-task and walking speed on gait variability in people with chronic ankle instability: a cross-sectional study – Full Text



Recent evidence suggests that impaired central sensorimotor integration may contribute to deficits in movement control experienced by people with chronic ankle instability (CAI). This study compared the effects of dual-task and walking speed on gait variability in individuals with and without CAI.


Sixteen subjects with CAI and 16 age- and gender-matched, able-bodied controls participated in this study. Stride time variability and stride length variability were measured on a treadmill under four different conditions: self-paced walking, self-paced walking with dual-task, fast walking, and fast walking with dual-task.


Under self-paced walking (without dual-task) there was no difference in stride time variability between CAI and control groups (P = 0.346). In the control group, compared to self-paced walking, stride time variability decreased in all conditions: self-paced walking with dual-task, fast speed, and fast speed with dual-task (P = 0.011, P = 0.016, P = 0.001, respectively). However, in the CAI group, compared to self-paced walking, decreased stride time variability was demonstrated only in the fast speed with dual-task condition (P = 1.000, P = 0.471, P = 0.008; respectively). Stride length variability did not change under any condition in either group.


Subjects with CAI and healthy controls reduced their stride time variability in response to challenging walking conditions; however, the pattern of change was different. A higher level of gait disturbance was required to cause a change in walking in the CAI group compared to healthy individuals, which may indicate lower adaptability of the sensorimotor system. Clinicians may use this information and employ activities to enhance sensorimotor control during gait, when designing intervention programs for people with CAI.

The study was registered with the Clinical Trials network (registration NCT02745834, registration date 15/3/2016).


Recurrent ankle sprains occur in up to 40% of individuals who have previously experienced a lateral ankle sprain [1, 2]. Individuals who report residual symptoms, which include repetitive episodes of ‘giving way’ and subjective feeling of ankle joint instability are termed as having chronic ankle instability (CAI) [3]. The cause of these symptoms and the high frequency of recurrent ankle sprain is not fully understood [4]. It has been suggested that the residual joint instability and the high reoccurrence rates can be attributed to loss of sensory input from articular mechano-receptors, decreased muscle strength, mechanical instability of the ankle joint, and reduced ankle range of motion [5, 6].

Recent evidence suggests that deficits in central neural sensorimotor integration can contribute to impaired movement control in people with CAI [7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. For example, Springer et al. [8] assessed the correlation between single-limb stance postural control (Overall Stability Index) and shoulder position sense (Absolute Error Score) among people with CAI and healthy controls. Correlations between the lower and upper limbs were observed only in the healthy controls, indicating altered sensorimotor integration in the CAI group. Several studies have observed altered gait mechanism in people with CAI, which was explained by compromised central nervous system (CNS) control [9, 14, 15, 16]. It was shown that people with CAI have a typical gait pattern of increased inversion kinematics and kinetics, lateral shift of body weight, increased hip flexion during terminal swing to mid stance, reduced hip extension and increased knee flexion during terminal stance to initial swing, and slow weight transfer at the beginning and end of the stance [15, 16, 17]. Altered biomechanical strategies during gait initiation and termination tasks (e.g., reduced center of pressure displacement), have also been demonstrated in this population [9, 14]. Studies that assessed movement variability, such as knee and hip joint motions during single leg jump landing, identified differences between individuals with and without CAI, which may also indicate central motor programming deficits [10, 11, 12, 13]. Hence, further investigation of motor control adaptations may contribute to understanding the underlying neurophysiologic mechanisms of CAI.

Gait speed and other spatio-temporal parameters during daily activities should reflect behavioral goals and environmental conditions [18]. Studies revealed that walking speed has a significant effect on joint coordination pattern and gait variability [18, 19, 20]. Therefore, assessing gait variability under challenging situations such as walking at different speeds might test CNS flexibility in controlling gait [19, 20]. Moreover, based on the understanding that for many daily activities even a fully intact motor control system requires attention and cognitive resources [21], the dual-task paradigm has been used to provide insight into the demands of postural control and gait on attention. Performance of a cognitive task has been shown to decrease postural control in participants with CAI as compared to healthy controls [7, 22]. However, no previous study examined the impact of cognitive task and walking speed on gait performance in subjects with CAI.

Balance during walking is reflected by precise spatial and temporal control of foot placement. Stride to stride fluctuations in time and length are related to control of the rhythmic walking mechanism. Thus, previous research has suggested that studying gait variability is a reliable way to quantify locomotion [23]. The mechanism of adjusting movement variability is considered beneficial for coping with changes, maintaining stability, preventing injury, and attaining higher motor skills [24]. Performing a cognitive task while walking or while altering self-paced walking speed has been related to changes in gait variability in populations with neurological and musculoskeletal pathologies, as well in healthy young individuals [25, 26, 27, 28]. Yet, there is no consensus in the literature as to how to interpret these changes. Decreased variability while performing demanding gait tasks may reflect voluntary gait adaptation toward a more conservative gait pattern [26]. Alternatively, it has been suggested that increased variability may indicate CNS flexibility and adaptability to changes in task demands [29]. A possible central sensorimotor control deficit in people with CAI may constrain the ability of the CNS to adjust to different task demands; thus, affecting central control over gait variability and reducing the ability to cope with varied tasks. Consequently, testing the mechanism of adjusting gait variability as a response to complex walking conditions in people with CAI compared to healthy controls may provide more information on sensorimotor control in this population.

The present study was designed to compare the effects of dual-task and walking speed on gait variability in individuals with and without CAI. Previous reports, including a meta-analysis, indicated that simple postural tasks do not always discriminate between participants with CAI and those without [6, 8, 30]. Consequently, we hypothesized that gait variability among individuals with and without CAI will be similar during “normal” self-paced walking, whereas gait will vary under complex walking conditions.[…]

Continue —> Effects of dual-task and walking speed on gait variability in people with chronic ankle instability: a cross-sectional study | BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Full Text

Fig. 1 Stride time variability results of the two groups under all gait conditions. CAI- chronic ankle instability, SP- self-paced, DT- dual task

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Cognitive motor interference on upper extremity motor performance in a robot-assisted planar reaching task among patients with stroke



To explore motor performance on two different cognitive tasks during robotic rehabilitation in which motor performance was longitudinally assessed.


Prospective study


Rehabilitation hospital


Patients with chronic stroke and upper extremity impairment (N=22)


A total of 640 repetitions of robot-assisted planar reaching, five times a week for 4 weeks

Main Outcome Measures

Longitudinal robotic evaluations regarding motor performance included smoothness, mean velocity, path error, and reach error by the type of cognitive task. Dual-task effects (DTE) of motor performance were computed in order to analyze the effect of the cognitive task on dual-task interference.


Cognitive task type influenced smoothness (p = 0.006), the DTE of smoothness (p = 0.002), and the DTE of reach error (p = 0.052). Robotic rehabilitation improved smoothness (p = 0.007) and reach error (p = 0.078), while stroke severity affected smoothness (p = 0.01), reach error (p < 0.001), and path error (p = 0.01). Robotic rehabilitation or severity did not affect the DTE of motor performance.


The present results provide evidence for the effect of cognitive-motor interference on upper extremity performance among participants with stroke using a robotic-guided rehabilitation system.

Source: Cognitive motor interference on upper extremity motor performance in a robot-assisted planar reaching task among patients with stroke – Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Efficacy of Balance and Gait Re-Education under Single and Dual Task Conditions in Post Stroke Hemiparetic Patients – Full Text PDF


The primary concern of all the patients suffered from post- stroke hemiparesis is to regain the ability to balance and walk independently. Gait correction and re-education, therefore, is an important physical therapy intervention for patients following stroke.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of dual task balance and gait training compared to single task balance and gait training in post stroke hemiparetic patients. 45 post stroke hemiparetic patients aged 40- 70 years, both males and females and within one year of stroke, were included in the study. The patients were conveniently divided into 3 groups, namely, group A, B and C. The patients were assessed for quantitative gait parameters such as step length, cadence, Comfortable Walking Speed (CWS), and Berg Balance Scale (BBS).

Group A received balance and gait training under single task condition; whereas the patients in Group B were given balance and gait training under dual task conditions. All the patients received a total intervention of 6 weeks.

After statistical analysis, a statistical significant difference was observed in non-paretic step length, stride length, cadence, CWS and BBS score along (p< 0.05) in the groups A and B. The present study shows that both single task as well as dual task training provides better gait rehabilitation but the results are less evident than dual task training in terms of quantitative gait analysis.

Full Text PDF

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: