Dual-task interference during walking in stroke

What are the degree and pattern of dual-task interference during walking in people after stroke?

Many activities of daily life involve dual tasks, such as walking and conversing at the same time. For people who have had a stroke, doing two tasks simulaneously may cause an important deterioration in the performance of one or both tasks.

A comprehensive review paper provides thorough coverage of this phenomenon of 'dual-task interference' in people who have had a stroke. Based on a review of 67 studies with data on 2,425 participants, the review is able to pool substantial amounts of data to generate new insights into how severe the interference is and how it varies in different scenarios.

In studies where the secondary task was a mental task (e.g., mathematical subtractions) rather than a physical task (e.g., carrying a tray of glasses), there was the greatest amount of dual-task interference. The pattern and amount of dual-task interference was similar between mental and physical secondary tasks.

When evaluating mobility and planning rehabilitation, clinicians should select dual-task assessments that correspond to the daily habits and physical demands of people after stroke.

> From: Tsang, J Physiother 68 (2022) 26-36 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Australian Physiotherapy Association. Click here for the online summary.

Want to read deeper into this topic? Have a look at the free full text version of this article published in Journal of Physiotherapy!

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