The immediate effect of a novel audio-visual cueing strategy (simulated traffic lights) on dualtask walking in people with Parkinson's disease

Kit Yi Mak, L. Yu, C. W Y Hui-Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Gait deficits are exacerbated during the addition of a concurrent cognitive task in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). The provision of auditory and/or visual cues has been reported to facilitate gait performance in these patients. Aim.To investigate whether individuals with PD could use traffic lights as an audio-visual cueing strategy to enhance dual-task walking performance. Design. Cross-sectional comparative study. Setting. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Population. Fifteen PD and 13 healthy individuals. Methods. All participants were instructed to walk at their natural pace, followed by 2 randomized conditions: 1) walking while doing serial subtractions of three, starting from a random number between 60 to 100; 2) doing the same tasks with the addition of traffic lights signals as audio-visual cues. Primary outcomes included stride length, cadence and gait velocity. Results. Individuals with PD had more deterioration in all gait parameters than healthy controls for both single- and dual-task walking. With the use of traffic lights, individuals with PD showed significant increases in stride length (by 8.8%), cadence (by 9.6%), and gait velocity (by 21.0%, P=0.000). Conclusion. Traffic lights could be used as combined preparatory' and ongoing audio-visual cues to enhance dual-task walking performance in people with PD. Clinical Rehabilitation Impact. Positive findings from the present study suggest a promising treatment intervention to benefit people with PD, who often have to conduct concurrent cognitive task during walking in their daily activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Attention
  • Cues
  • Gait disorders
  • Neurologic
  • Parkinson disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this