A feasibility study of dual-task strategy training to improve gait performance in patients with Parkinson's disease.Sci Rep. 2021 06 14; 11(1):12416.SR
Gait disorders in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) impact their mobility and self-dependence. Gait training and dual-task (DT)-training improve gait quality. This study aims to assess the feasibility of a specific, gradually intensified DT-training for PD patients with a special focus on gait performance under single task (ST) and DT conditions. Correlations to Freezing of Gait (FoG) were examined. 17 PD patients (70.1 ± 7.4 years, H&Y Stadium 2-3, FoG-Q 9.0 ± 5.5) participated in a four-week DT-training (1x/week, 60 min) with progressively increasing task difficulty and number of tasks. Gait performance (spatiotemporal parameters) was assessed during ST and DT conditions. The training improved DT gait performance, especially gait velocity + 0.11 m/s; (F(2,16) = 7.163; p = .0171; η2part = .309) and step length (+ 5.73 cm). Also, physical well-being and absolved walking distance improved significantly. Correlation analyses of the FoG score at baseline with relative change of gait metrics post-training revealed significant correlations with training-induced changes of step length and improvement of gait velocity. Overall, the developed DT-training was feasible and effective. Further studies should examine the long-term benefits and the optimal setting to achieve the highest impact. The study was registered in the DRKS (ID DRKS00018084, 23.1.20).