Clinical Edge

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Dual-Task Performance Assessed in Persons with MS

Arch Phys Med Rehabil; ePub 2017 Nov 3; Goverover, et al

Cognitive dual-task cost is significantly associated with worse performance of everyday technology, according to a study that examined and compared dual-task performance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) (n=19) and healthy controls (HC) (n=19). The study utilized mathematical problem-solving questions that included an everyday competence component while performing an upper extremity fine motor task. Participants were presented with 2 testing conditions—solving mathematical everyday problems or placing bolts into divots (single-task condition) vs solving problems while putting bolts into divots (dual-task condition). Participants were also required to perform a test of everyday internet competence. Researchers found:

  • As expected, dual-task performance was significantly worse than either of the single-task tasks (ie, number of bolts into divots or correct answers, and time to answer the questions).
  • Cognitive, but not motor, dual-task cost was associated with worse performance in activities of everyday internet task.

Citation:

Goverover Y, Sandroff BM, DeLuca J. Dual-task of fine motor skill and problem-solving in individuals with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study. [Published online ahead of print November 3, 2017]. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2017.10.012.

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