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ABSTRACT: To investigate voluntary step behavior of chronic stroke survivors during single- and dual-task conditions and compare the results to healthy age- and sex-matched controls.
Chronic stroke survivors (n=16) and healthy controls (n=16).
Forward and backward rapid voluntary stepping were performed as a reaction time task under 2 conditions: (1) awaiting a cutaneous cue (single task), and (2) awaiting a cutaneous cue while performing an attention-demanding task. Step initiation, preparatory and swing phases, foot-off time, and foot-contact time were extracted from center of pressure and ground reaction forceplate data.
Chronic stroke survivors were significantly slower than healthy controls in all step parameters under single- and dual-task conditions. For dual compared with single task, the foot-contact time increased from 1295 ms to 1445 ms (12%) in chronic stroke survivors and from 876 ms to 1006 ms (15%) in controls.
The significant increase in step phase's duration during single- and dual-task conditions may be a factor contributing to the large number of falls seen in stroke patients. The interference effects of attention-demanding task were similar between groups, suggesting that both groups used similar strategies. Future research should determine whether step training can improve step decrements in chronic stroke survivors.
Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 07/2009; 90(6):927-33. · 2.18 Impact Factor