Effects of single-task, dual-task and successive physical-cognitive training on fall risk and balance performance in older adults: a randomized trial

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Journal of Exercise Therapy and Rehabilitation, vol.9, no.1, pp.1-11, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Purpose: This study aimed to examine the effects of single-task, dual-task and successive physical-cognitive training on fall risk, balance, and gait performances in elderly.Methods: A total of 45 healthy older adults (73.0±4.6 years; 6 male and 39 female) underwent one of three interventions 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Group-1 performed single-task balance and gait exercises. Group-2 performed cognitive activity, balance, and gait exercises simultaneously. Group-3 performed successive cognitive activities and balance and gait exercises. Gait speed under single-task and dual-task conditions, Berg Balance Scale, Timed up and Go test, and Tinetti's Falls Efficacy Scale scores were evaluated before and after 4 weeks of interventions.Results: Gait speed under single-task condition, Timed up and Go Test, and Berg Balance Scale scores were improved in all groups (p<0.05). Gait speed under dual-task condition was improved in Groups-2 and 3 (p<0.05). Group-3 had greater improvement in Berg Balance Scale and Timed up and Go test scores than Group-2. Tinetti's Falls Efficacy Scale was improved in Group-1 and 3 after training while the improvement was greater in Group-3 (p=0.001).Conclusion: The present study suggests that an intervention involving cognitive and physical activities results in greater improvement in gait speed than interventions involving physical activities alone. However, successive physical-cognitive training may be more effective in reducing fear of fall and improving balance skills in elderly.