Changes in step-width during dual-task walking predicts falls
2010 (English)In: Gait & Posture, ISSN 0966-6362, E-ISSN 1879-2219, Vol. 32, no 1, 92-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim was to evaluate whether gait pattern changes between single- and dual-task conditions were associated with risk of falling in older people. Dual-task cost (DTC) of 230 community living, physically independent people, 75 years or older, was determined with an electronic walkway. Participants were followed up each month for 1 year to record falls. Mean and variability measures of gait characteristics for 5 dual-task conditions were compared to single-task walking for each participant. Almost half (48%) of the participants fell at least once during follow-up. Risk of falling increased in individuals where DTC for performing a subtraction task demonstrated change in mean step-width compared to single-task walking. Risk of falling decreased in individuals where DTC for carrying a cup and saucer demonstrated change compared to single-task walking in mean step-width, mean step-time, and step-length variability. Degree of change in gait characteristics related to a change in risk of falling differed between measures. Prognostic guidance for fall risk was found for the above DTCs in mean step-width with a negative likelihood ratio of 0.5 and a positive likelihood ratio of 2.3, respectively. Findings suggest that changes in step-width, step-time, and step-length with dual tasking may be related to future risk of falling. Depending on the nature of the second task, DTC may indicate either an increased risk of falling, or a protective strategy to avoid falling.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 32, no 1, 92-97 p.
Balance; Inter-active gait; Step-width; Dual-task costs; Falls
Research subject Physiotherapy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-41369DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2010.03.012ISI: 000279581000018PubMedID: 20399100OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-41369DiVA: diva2:405692