Prosthet Orthot Int. 2021 Nov 11. doi: 10.1097/PXR.0000000000000063. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Walking while talking (WWT) is a dual-task (cognitive and motor) performance test that has not yet been validated in older adults with lower-limb amputation (LLA). WWT is composed of two sections: WWT-simple (walking while reciting every letter of the alphabet) and WWT-complex (walking while reciting every other letter of the alphabet).
OBJECTIVE: To determine the validity, and provide normative data and a new scoring system for the WWT test in older adults with LLA.
STUDY DESIGN: Baseline cross-sectional data were collected from 56 community-living older adults (≥50 years old) with LLA at rehabilitation hospitals in Vancouver, BC, London, ON, and Edmonton, AB, Canada.
METHODS: Time and number of recited letters and errors during both sections were recorded. A new score was developed based on all these variables. Correlations of the recorded times with the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale and the 2-Minute Walk Test (2MWT) score were used to evaluate the validity of the WWT test.
RESULTS: As hypothesized, the times for both sections of the WWT were negatively correlated with both the ABC and 2MWT scores. Positive correlations were observed between the scores developed for both WWT sections with the 2MWT score.
CONCLUSION: Times taken to complete each section of the WWT test were correlated with the 2MWT and the ABC scale scores, providing evidence for the validity of the WWT test. We also provided a scoring method that is more objective and in line with the dual-task nature of the test.
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