Is the dual-task cost of walking and texting unique in people with multiple sclerosis?
The objective of the study was to investigate cognitive-motor interference of walking while texting in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). The study included 30 PwMS, mean disease duration 11.8 (SD = 6.8) years, and 15 healthy controls. The investigation included a cognitive assessment; texting assessment based on 100 typed characters; and gait assessment under two different conditions: normal walking and walking while texting. Outcome measures included the Symbol Digit Modalities Test to assess cognition. Texting measures included accuracy (%) and duration(s). Gait was assessed with axial accelerometers to quantify temporal measures. The dual-task cost percentage for the walking tests and texting accuracy was determined by calculating the percentage change from a single task to a double task. The impact of texting while walking on gait measures was significantly higher in PwMS; furthermore, texting was less accurate compared to the healthy controls. The dual-task cost for texting accuracy in the PwMS group was 153.3 (SD = 105.7) compared to 8.9 (SD = 26.6) in the healthy group. A significant association was found solely in the PwMS group between cognition and texting accuracy while in a sitting position (R2 = 0.564) and while walking (R2 = 0.534). The dual-task cost of walking and texting appears to be unique in the MS population.
KeywordsMultiple sclerosis Gait Texting Dual task Cognition
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.