Effects of dual task balance training on dual task performance in elderly people: a randomized controlled trial


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Abstract

Objective:To investigate the effects of dual task balance training in the elderly on standing postural control while performing a cognitive task.Design:A randomized two-group parallel controlled trial.Participants:Forty-three subjects (all >65 years old) were enrolled in the study and were assigned randomly to either an experimental group (n=21) or a control group (n=22).Interventions:Subjects in the experimental group were given strength and balance training while performing cognitive tasks simultaneously. Subjects in the control group were given strength and balance training only. The training was administered twice a week for three months.Measurements:The Chair Stand Test, Functional Reach Test, Timed Up and Go Test and Trail Making Test were measured. The sway length of the centre of gravity was measured during standing while performing the Stroop task. The rate of Stroop task was also measured. All measurements were collected at baseline and after the training period.Results:There were no significant differences in Functional Reach Test, Timed Up and Go Test and sway length at baseline and after training between the two groups. However, the rate of Stroop task (P<0.05) was significantly higher after training in the experimental group than in the control group.Conclusions:These results suggest that dual task balance training in elderly people improves their dual task performance during standing postural control.

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