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Test-retest reliability of cognitive-motor interference assessments in walking with various task complexities in persons with Multiple Sclerosis

  • Veldkamp, Renee
  • Romberg, Anders
  • Hämäläinen, Paivi
  • Giffroy, Xavier
  • Moumddjian, Lousin
  • Leone, Carmela
  • Peter, Feys
  • Baert, Ilse
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Background. Simultaneous execution of motor and cognitive tasks can result in worsened performance on one or both tasks, indicating cognitive-motor interference (CMI). A growing amount of research on CMI in persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) is observed. However, psychometric properties of dual-task outcomes have been scarcely reported. Objective. To investigate the between-day test-retest reliability of the motor and cognitive dual-task costs (DTCs) during multiple CMI test conditions with various task complexities in pwMS and matched healthy controls (HCs). Methods. A total of 34 pwMS (Expanded Disability Status Scale score 3.0 +/- 0.8) and 31 HCs were tested and retested on 3 single cognitive, 4 single motor, and 12 cognitive-motor dual tasks. Cognitive tasks included serial subtraction by 7, titrated digit span backward, and auditory vigilance. Motor tasks were walking at self-selected speed, over obstacles, crisscross, and while carrying a water-filled cup. Outcome measures were cognitive and motor DTC, calculated as percentage change of dual-task performance compared with single-task performance. Intraclass correlations (ICCs) and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated as appropriate. Results. For DTCmotor of gait speed, ICCs ranged from 0.45 to 0.81 and Spearman correlations from 0.74 to 0.82. For DTCcognitive, ICCs ranged from -0.18 to 0.49 and Spearman correlations from -0.28 to 0.26. Reliability depended on the type of motor and cognitive task. Conclusion. Reliability of the DTCmotor was, overall, good, whereas that of the DTCcognitive was poor. The "walking" and "cup" dual-task conditions were the most reliable regardless of the integrated cognitive task.

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