Falls are associated with serious physical and psychological consequences for older adults and often occur when older adults are walking while performing another task (i.e., dual-tasking). Studies have provided evidence on the effectiveness of dual-task training at improving dual-task performance. However, the literature on dual-task training (a) did not consistently investigate the extent that performance in one task interferes with the performance of the other task (i.e., dual-task costs) and (b) did not investigate the moderating role of depression on the effectiveness of training. Investigating the potential moderating role of depression is worthwhile because depression is prevalent in older adults and has been associated with impaired attentional control and poor dual-task performance. It was hypothesized that motor-cognitive dual-task training would significantly improve dual-task performance in community-dwelling older adults, such that dual-task costs would be reduced for at least one of the tasks without a subsequent increase in dual-task costs for the other task. Furthermore, depressive symptoms were hypothesized to moderate the effectiveness of the training, such that older adults with more depressive symptoms at baseline would show less improvement in dual-task performance after training than older adults with fewer depressive symptoms. Twenty-one older adults residing in a local retirement community participated in an 8-week (twice/week) fall risk reduction intervention administered at the retirement community. The training consisted of strength and balance training as well as simultaneous cognitive training. Dual-task motor costs for gait parameters and dual-task cognitive costs for accuracy on the cognitive task were computed before and after training. Depression was not found to moderate training effectiveness. However, training was effective in that both low and high depression groups showed reduced dual-task motor costs without a simultaneous increase in dual-task cognitive costs after training. This result adds evidence to the effectiveness of dual-task training on reducing fall risks in older adults. A larger sample with higher levels of depression is needed in future investigations of the moderating role of depression in dual-task training.
|Commitee:||Chun, Chi-Ah, Krishnan, Vennila|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/8(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Mental health, Gerontology|
|Keywords:||Dual-task costs, Dual-task training, Dual-tasking, Fall prevention, Fall risk reduction, Older adults|
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