Investigation of the Effects of Dual-Task Balance Training on Gait and Balance in Transfemoral Amputees: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Oct;101(10):1675-1682. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2020.06.009. Epub 2020 Jul 10.


Objectives: To investigate the effects of dual-task balance training on static and dynamic balance, functional mobility, cognitive level, and sleep quality in individuals with transfemoral amputation.

Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Participants: Transfemoral amputees (N=20).

Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to the single-task gait and balance training group (n=10) or the dual-task gait and balance training group (n=10). Training was given in sessions of 60 min/d, 3 d/wk for 4 weeks. The single-task training group performed traditional gait and balance exercises, and the dual-task training group practiced cognitive and motor tasks while performing gait and balance exercises.

Main outcome measures: The 1-leg stance test and the Four Square Step Test were used for balance assessment. The timed Up and Go test and 10-m walk test were used for gait assessment. Three test conditions to evaluate the training effects were single walking, walking while performing a cognitive task (serial subtraction), and walking while performing a motor task (tray carrying). The Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale was used for cognitive assessment and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index for sleep quality assessment.

Results: Balance and mobility improved in both groups. Dual-task balance performance, functional mobility, and gait speed improved more in the dual-task training group after training (P<.05). Cognitive status and sleep quality improved significantly in the dual-task group (P<.05).

Conclusions: Dual-task training was more effective than single-task training in the improvement of dual-task performance and cognitive status. The inclusion of dual-task exercises in the rehabilitation program of transfemoral amputees will provide a different perspective because of increased task automation.

Trial registration: NCT03094208.

Keywords: Amputees; Gait; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amputation / rehabilitation
  • Amputees / rehabilitation*
  • Artificial Limbs
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Femur / surgery
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors

Associated data