Presentation Title

Dual tasking with MS: The role of attentional switching on gait parameters

Project Collaborators

Susan Kasser (Graduate Student Mentor)

Abstract

Dual tasking with MS: The role of attentional switching on gait parameters

Daniel T*, B.S.; Martin S*, B.S.; Symonds J*, B.S.; Soltero J*, B.S.; Warshaw A*, B.S.; Kasser S, Ph.D.

*= first author

Introduction: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease presenting in a range of physical and cognitive impairments that negatively impact mobility and cause frequent falls. Persons with MS are at an even higher risk of falls when simultaneously performing a cognitive and motor activity (i.e., walking and talking) which increase attentional demand and resources. Given that individuals spend a majority of their daily lives dual tasking, understanding how attentional focus affects walking is imperative. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study is to examine the impact of attentional focus and gait speed on walking in MS . Methods: All participants in this study were diagnosed with MS and were ambulatory. Background and baseline data were collected by self-report questionnaires including Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), Falls Efficacy Scale (FES-I), 12-Item MS Walking Scale (MSWS-12), and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Cognitive speed and function was assessed using the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Variables of gait were assessed across eight dual task conditions related to focus of attention (internal, external, or switching) and gait speed (normal pace or fact walking). Dual task cost will be calculated for each variable in each condition and data will be analyzed using SPSS statistical software and one sample T-tests upon the completion of data collection. Results: Results are pending completion of data collection and subsequent analyses. Conclusion: The results of this study may help to expand our understanding of attentional focus and dual task cost in order to enhance targeted physical therapy interventions and reduce the risk of falls in individuals with MS.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Susan Kasser

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Program/Major

Physical Therapy

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Dual tasking with MS: The role of attentional switching on gait parameters

Dual tasking with MS: The role of attentional switching on gait parameters

Daniel T*, B.S.; Martin S*, B.S.; Symonds J*, B.S.; Soltero J*, B.S.; Warshaw A*, B.S.; Kasser S, Ph.D.

*= first author

Introduction: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease presenting in a range of physical and cognitive impairments that negatively impact mobility and cause frequent falls. Persons with MS are at an even higher risk of falls when simultaneously performing a cognitive and motor activity (i.e., walking and talking) which increase attentional demand and resources. Given that individuals spend a majority of their daily lives dual tasking, understanding how attentional focus affects walking is imperative. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study is to examine the impact of attentional focus and gait speed on walking in MS . Methods: All participants in this study were diagnosed with MS and were ambulatory. Background and baseline data were collected by self-report questionnaires including Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), Falls Efficacy Scale (FES-I), 12-Item MS Walking Scale (MSWS-12), and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Cognitive speed and function was assessed using the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Variables of gait were assessed across eight dual task conditions related to focus of attention (internal, external, or switching) and gait speed (normal pace or fact walking). Dual task cost will be calculated for each variable in each condition and data will be analyzed using SPSS statistical software and one sample T-tests upon the completion of data collection. Results: Results are pending completion of data collection and subsequent analyses. Conclusion: The results of this study may help to expand our understanding of attentional focus and dual task cost in order to enhance targeted physical therapy interventions and reduce the risk of falls in individuals with MS.