Journal Article

A randomised controlled trial of a walking training with simultaneous cognitive demand (dual task) in chronic stroke


Objective. To evaluate the tolerability of, adherence to and efficacy of a community walking training programme with simultaneous cognitive demand (dual‐task) compared to a control walking training programme without cognitive distraction. Methods. Adult stroke survivors, at least 6 months after stroke with a visibly obvious gait abnormality or reduced two‐minute walk distance were included into a 2‐arm parallel randomized controlled trial of complex intervention with blinded assessments. Participants received a 10 week, bi‐weekly, 30 minutes treadmill program at an aerobic training intensity (55‐85% heart rate maximum), either with, or without simultaneous cognitive demands. Outcome measured at 0, 11 and 22 weeks. Primary: two‐minute‐walk tests with and without cognitive distraction, dual task effect on walking and cognition; secondary: SF‐36, EuroQol‐5D‐5L, Physical Activity Scale for Elderly (PASE), and step activity. Results. Fifty stroke patients were included, 43 received allocated training and 45 completed all assessments. The experimental group (n = 26) increased mean (SD) two‐minute walking distance from 90.7 (8.2) to 103.5 (8.2) metres, compared with 86.7 (8.5) to 92.8 (8.6) in the control group, and their PASE score from 74.3 (9.1) to 89.9 (9.4), compared with 94.7 (9.4) to 77.3 (9.9) in the control group. Statistically, only the change in the PASE differed between the groups (p = 0.029), with the dual‐task group improving more. There were no differences in other measures. Conclusions. Walking with specific additional cognitive distraction (dual‐task training) might increase activity more over 12 weeks, but the data are not conclusive.

Attached files


Meester, Daan
Al-Yahya, Emad
Dennis, Andrea
Collett, Johnny
Wade, Derick T.
Ovington, Martin
Liu, Francesca
Meaney, Andy
Cockburn, Janet
Johansen-Berg, Heidi
Dawes, Helen

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-10-16

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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