Comparison of dual-task costs during different types of walking in people with Parkinson's disease: a controlled study

Acta Neurol Belg. 2023 Dec;123(6):2221-2227. doi: 10.1007/s13760-023-02271-5. Epub 2023 Apr 10.


Introduction: Many of the activities in daily living require different walking skills such as straight walking (SW), walking with turning (WwT), curved walking (CW) or backward walking (BW) in a dual-task condition. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding the dual task cost (DTC) during different types of walking. Therefore, this study was planned to compare the DTC during different types of walking in people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD) and healthy controls.

Methods: Thirty-one PwPD and 31 healthy controls were included. Different types of walking were assessed using the 10-Meter Walk Test for SW, the Timed Up and Go Test for WwT, the Figure-of-Eight Walk Test for CW, and the Three-Meter Backward Walk Test for BW. Walking assessments were performed in a single-task and a dual-task condition.

Results: The DTC on SW was the lowest in both groups. The DTC on WwT, BW, and CW were similar in healthy controls, whereas the order of the DTC on remaining walking types from lowest to highest was; WwT, BW, and CW in PwPD. Also, the DTC on WwT, BW, and CW were higher in PwPD than healthy controls. However, the DTC on SW was similar in PwPD and healthy controls.

Conclusion: The DTC is different during SW, WwT, BW, and CW in PwPD. Therefore, walking type should be considered in studies investigating dual task walking in PwPD. Also, dual task exercises consisting of different types of walking should be included in rehabilitation programs of PwPD.

Keywords: Backward walking; Curved walking; Dual task; Parkinson’s disease; Straight walking; Turning.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease*
  • Postural Balance
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • Walking