In a nutshell
This study looked at different types of physical training to improve gait while carrying out tasks in stroke patients. The authors concluded that both cognitive and motor dual task training could be combined for the most benefit.
Cognitive-motor and motor dual tasks involve movement based activities such as walking and talking, carrying a bag or using a mobile phone. Performing two tasks at the same time can negatively affect gait, even in people who have not experienced stroke. This impact is worsened in stroke patients as they commonly experience cognitive or physical disabilities. To improve the daily life of stroke patients, physical training is important. This can involve training to improve gait while performing two tasks at the same time. The most effective type of training however is not yet known.
Methods & findings
This study looked at the effectiveness of different types of training to improve dual task gait in stroke patients. One type of training the study included cognitive dual task gait training (CDTT), which involved walking while doing mathematical subtractions. Motor dual task gait training (MDTT) involved walking while carrying a tray. Conventional physical therapy (CPT) was also included as a control group.
28 patients were included this trial. 10 patients were treated with CPT, 9 were treated with CDTT and 9 were treated with MDTT.
Patients treated with CDTT had improved stride length and dual task cost of gait speed (DTC speed, speed taking into account the other task) compared to pre-training scores. Patients treated with MDTT had improved gait speed, stride length and DTC speed compared to pre-training scores. The control group treated with CPT had improvements in gait speed and stride length compared to pre-training scores.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that CDTT improved the cognitive dual task gait performance while MDTT improved the motor dual task gait performance. They suggest that the two types of training could be combined to maximum effectiveness.
Published By :
Jun 22, 2017