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The feasibility of different task combinations for the assessment of dual task performance in community-dwelling fallers and non-fallers
  1. J Muhaidat,
  2. D A Skelton*,
  3. A Kerr,
  4. J J Evans
  1. Correspondence School of Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Govan Mbeki Building, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK

Abstract

Background Poor performance on Dual Task (DT) tests has been identified as a risk factor for falls in older adults.1 There is no consensus on which DT combination best predicts falls.2 Moreover, there is a discrepancy between what older adults perceive as difficult and fall inducing DTs and DTs used in the literature.3

Aims To explore the feasibility of DT tests from the point of view older adults, and to reduce the number of possible DT combinations.

Method Sixteen fallers and sixteen non-fallers. Inclusion criteria were as follows: age≤65 years, community dwelling and functionally independent. 49 DT tests were assessed. Examples of the primary tasks used were walking, walking with obstacles and stairs descent. Examples of the secondary tasks were: arithmetic, auditory and visuospatial. Primary and secondary tasks were combined. A questionnaire (10 questions) was administered after each test to assess the feasibility of each test. Questions addressed test difficulty, instructions and relevance to everyday life. DT decrements in the performance of the primary and secondary tasks were measured.

Results Results will be presented.

Conclusions This study will draw important conclusions on which DT tests can be used in practice to prospectively assess falls risk in older people.

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