Training Dual-task Balance and Walking in People With Stroke

Recruiting

Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

Stroke is one of the most common chronic disabling conditions in Hong Kong. People after stroke may suffer from certain degree of physical impairment and disability. Resuming safe ambulation in the community appears to be a big challenge to them as it always involves the simultaneous performance of two or more tasks (dual task) such as walking and talking with someone, walking and recalling the shopping list etc. Numerous studies has demonstrated that the interference from dual tasks (dual task interference) may significantly impact the recovery of the functional walking. To date, the relevance of dual task walking to daily community is widely documented and the ability of managing dual task is therefore particularly important. Evidences supported that dual task training showed its promising effect on the balance and walking performance amongst people with neurological disorders, such as chronic stroke. In light of this, the introduction of dual task based balance and walking training into physiotherapy program for stroke patient may enhance the balance and walking performance and hence promote successful community ambulation. Yet, there is limited evidence on its effect in sub-acute stroke.
Objective: To examine the effectiveness of a dual-task based balance and walking training program on performance and dual task interference in balance and walking ability, balance self-efficacy and incidence of falls in people with sub-acute stroke

Detailed Description

An assessor-blind, randomized control trial will be conducted. Eighty-four people with sub-acute stroke and fulfill the eligibility criteria will be recruited from the medical wards of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) or from the Physiotherapy Department of the QEH. Subjects will be randomly allocated into either dual-task training (DT) group (n=28) or single-task training (ST) group (n=28) or Control (C) group (n=28) by 1:1:1 randomization sequence after baseline evaluation. All subjects will receive usual physiotherapy training. Subjects in the DT group will undergo 30 minutes of dual task training with simultaneously performing balance and walking exercise and attention demanding tasks, and 30 minutes of stretching exercises whereas those in the ST group will undergo single task training with 30 minutes of balance and walking exercise and 30 minutes of attention demanding task performed separately. Subjects in the control group will receive stretching and strengthening exercise only. The training program will last for 8 weeks with frequency of 2 sessions a week and duration of 60 minutes per session.
The degree of the dual-task interference, the balance and walking performance in dual task conditions will be evaluated at three time points: (1) Baseline (within one week before the intervention (2) within one week after completion of training (3) 8 weeks after the completion of training by blinded assessors. Also, the subjects will have monthly telephone follow up on the fall incidence for 6 months after completion of the program.

Conditions

Interventions

  • Dual task training Other
    Intervention Desc: Balance and walking exercises with simultaneously engaging in attention demanding tasks
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Dual-task training group
    Description: Subjects in this group will have 30 minutes of dual-task training with simultaneously performing balance and walking exercise and attention demanding tasks, and 30 minutes of stretching exercises. The training program will last for 8 weeks with frequency of 2 sessions a week.
  • Single-task training Other
    Intervention Desc: Balance and walking exercises and and attention demanding task performed separately
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Single-task training group
    Description: Subjects in this group will have single-task training with 30 minutes of balance and walking exercise and 30 minutes of attention demanding task performed separately. The training program will last for 8 weeks with frequency of 2 sessions a week.
  • Limbs exercise Other
    Intervention Desc: Stretching and strengthening exercises
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Limbs exercise group
    Description: Subjects in this group will have stretching and strengthening exercise for 60 minutes. The training program will last for 8 weeks with frequency of 2 sessions a week.

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment

Outcomes

Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Degree of the dual-task interference Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary Standing balance with eyes opened in dual task conditions Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary Standing balance with eyes closed in dual task conditions Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary 10 metre walk test in dual task conditions Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary Obstacle crossing test in dual task conditions Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary Chinese version of Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory (short form) Baseline, 8 weeks, 16 weeks No
Secondary Incidence of falls From baseline to 6 months No

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