Executive Function and Dual Task Performance of Gait in Mexican Elders
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T11:11:12Z
Author DetailsBertha Cecilia Salazar, PhD; Mirtha idalia Celestino RN, BS; Maria Cristina Enriquez-Reyna RN, BS
(41st Biennial Convention) Objective: To describe the relationship between executive function and gait velocity under three walking conditions: usual gait, simple dual task and complex dual task of Mexican elders. Methods: Descriptive cross sectional design. Random sampling by cluster. Sample size was 202 elders drawn from eight senior centers; with power of 90%, effect size for a bilateral correlational test of 0.22, and significance level of 0.05. Executive function was measured by the Color Trails Test (attention and mental flexibility) and the STROOP test (attention inhibitory control). Gait was measured at usual speed (simple task), simple dual task (walking while holding a tray with a glass of water) and a complex dual task walking while repeating as many words as possible starting with a randomized letter. Results: Mean age was 70.28 years (SD = 6.84), years of school were 5.44 (SD = 3.44). Gait velocity under usual speed was 1.006 m/s (SD = .242), simple dual task was 0.958 m/s (SD = .248), and under complex dual task 0.651 m/s (SD = .247). Attention (Color Trails part A) was inverse related to all three walking conditions (r =-0.328, -0.343, -0.188, all ps < .01, usual, simple dual and complex dual task, respectively). Mental flexibility (Color Trails interference rate) was inverse related only to walking under dual complex task (r = -0.169, p < .05). Attention inhibitory control was inverse related to complex dual task performance of gait (r = -0.165, p < .01). Conclusions: Elders reduce their usual speed under both, simple dual task and complex dual task suggesting that in order to attend an extra task while walking they compensate by decreasing gait speed. Reducing their gait speed does not guarantee success on the cognitive task, rather only they are focusing on the other task.