The ability to selectively allocateattentional demands on walking during secondary cognitive and motor tasks in elderly people with and without a history of falls
ObjectiveThe main goal of this studywas to determine the ability of elderly adults to selectively allocate attentional demands on walking during secondary motor andcognitive tasks.
Materials And Methodsin this prospective three factors mixed design, 33 elderlyadultswithout a history of falls and 23 elderly adults with a history of falls wereasked to performtimed up and go test (TUG), either alone or simultaneously withsecondary cognitive (backward days of week) or motor (transferring coins) tasksunder two instructional sets (a) focus primarily on the primary postural task (b)focus primarily on the secondary motor or cognitive tasks. Time and number ofsteps on TUG, cognitive and motor tasks score were videotaped. demographics,kolmogorove-smirnov, independent t-test, two way and three way mixed ANOVAwere used for analyzing data.
Resultsusing three way ANOVA to compare performance of elderly adults withand without a history of falls to measure the flexibility of allocation of attention, results showed both groups had ability to allocate attention toward primary posturaltask and non-fallers represented better attention of allocation than fallers. whenparticipants perform secondary motor task, time of TUG increased compared tocognitive task.
Conclusionour study confirmed thw ability to allocate attention toward theprimary task but non-fallers have more attention than fallers. it is suggested thatinability to allocate attention could be one important factor among others thatcontribute to balance constraints during gait in fallers. elderly adults sacrificeperformance on the secondary task in order to optimize their gait and balance.
Iranian Journal of Ageing, Volume:5 Issue:18, 2010
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