Journal of Taiwan Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Objectives: To investigate the interference of suprapostural tasks on performance of postural tasks. The suprapostural tasks involved cognitive tasks requiring mental rotation processing. Methods: Repeated measures design. Nineteen subjects post 1st stroke onset were recruited. All subjects underwent both single-task and dual-task experiment conditions. In single-task conditions, the postural stability of stroke patients were measured while standing on the pressure mat with the following three stance configurations (a) shoulder-width double stance, (b) step stance with sound leg in the back, (c) step stance with affected leg in the back. In dual task conditions, the postural stability was measured while stance as in single task conditions and reacted to the hard and easy visuospatial mental rotation task. Repeated-measures two-way analysis of variance was used to examine the effects of dual tasks on postural stability performance with significant level setting at α=.05. Results: The dual task conditions decreased the postural sway significantly comparing with single-task conditions. Performance of cognitive tasks showed no significant differences among different stance configurations. Conclusion: Stroke patients tend to adopt "postural first" strategy in dual-ask conditions. The result suggests clinical therapists to provide postural stability training in dual-ask settings which may cause better training effects than in single-task conditions.