Background The ability of performing a balance or walking task in conjunction with a secondary cognitive or motor task, referred to as dual-task (DT) ability, is essential in daily living. While there is some evidence that DT performance is impaired in individuals with neurological conditions, using reliable and valid tools to measure DT performance is essential. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of DT balance and walking assessments in individuals with different neurological conditions. Methods A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library (last search done in April 2016). The methodological quality was rated using the Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) checklist. Results Twenty-three articles involving individuals with stroke, Parkinson's disease, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis were included. Outcomes derived from the walking tasks under DT condition generally demonstrated good reliability (correlation coefficient ≥0.75) across different neurological disorders, but their usefulness in distinguishing fallers from non-fallers was inconclusive. The reliability of outcomes derived from the cognitive/motor tasks and from the dual-task effect (DTE) (i.e., DT performance minus single-task performance) seemed to be lower but was understudied. The reliability of static or dynamic sitting/standing balance outcomes in DT condition was not assessed in any of the selected studies. Conclusions The reliability of the outcomes derived from walking tasks was good. The psychometric properties of other DT outcomes need to be further investigated.
- Systematic review
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine