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The associations between dual-task walking under three different interference conditions and cognitive function


Jayakody, O and Breslin, M and Stuart, K and Vickers, JC and Callisaya, ML, The associations between dual-task walking under three different interference conditions and cognitive function, Gait and Posture, 82 pp. 174-180. ISSN 0966-6362 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.08.113


Background & aims: Dual-task walking is an emerging marker of cognitive impairment. However, there is uncertainty regarding which dual-task test and measure to use. The aims of this study were to determine the association between three different dual-tasks and 1) global cognition and 2) individual cognitive domains.

Methods: Participants (n = 91) were adults aged between 56-83 years (mean 68.8, SD 6.7). Under single- and dual-task, gait speed was obtained using a computerized mat. For the dual-task there were three conditions: 1) reciting alternate letters of the alphabet (DT-alpha); 2) counting backwards in 3 s (DT-counting); and 3) recalling words from a shopping list (DT-recall). Dual-task interference in gait and cognition were calculated as: (dual task-single task)/single task×100 and summed to obtain total interference. The cognitive domains of executive function, processing speed, working memory, verbal fluency, visuospatial function and verbal memory (recall and recognition) were assessed using a battery of neuropsychological tests. Raw test scores were subjected to principal component analysis to derive a global cognition score. Partial correlations were used to determine the strength of associations between single- and dual-task measures and cognitive scores, adjusting for age, sex and education.

Results: The strongest significant associations for each cognitive outcome variable were between greater total interference under DT-alpha and lower global cognition (r = 0.25), working memory (r = 0.28) and verbal memory [recognition] (r = 0.21), greater gait interference under DT-alpha and slower processing speed (r = 0.43) and single-task gait speed and verbal fluency (r = 0.23). Associations between dual-task measures and cognition were generally weaker under the DT-counting and DT-recall.

Significance: Calculating total and gait interference during DT-alpha may be the most useful in order to identify adults with poorer cognition.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cognition, dementia, dual-task walking, gait, primary health care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Primary health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Jayakody, O (Ms Shanika Jayakody Arachchige Dona)
UTAS Author:Breslin, M (Dr Monique Breslin)
UTAS Author:Stuart, K (Miss Kimberley Stuart)
UTAS Author:Vickers, JC (Professor James Vickers)
UTAS Author:Callisaya, ML (Dr Michele Callisaya)
ID Code:140993
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2020-09-17
Last Modified:2020-10-14

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