Objective: To examine the concurrent validity of manual dual-task and cognitive dual-task versions of a recently validated L-Test  in individuals with mild-moderate Parkinson’s Disease (PD). A secondary objective was to establish the predictive ability of the single-task and dual-task versions of the L-Test in identifying those at risk of falling.
Background: Falls are twice as common in PD as in healthy older people . Dual-tasking in PD can exacerbate gait impairments  and over half of falls are thought to occur during dual-task activities . Emerging evidence suggests benefits of dual-task training (DTT) on motor skill retention [5-7] and the European Physiotherapy Guidelines for PD recommend its implementation in clinical practice . Robust dual-task mobility measures are therefore necessary to evaluate the effects of DTT programs in PD.
Method: 25 participants (19 male), mean age 65.64 years (SD±9.40) in H&Y stage I-III were categorized into faller (n=7) or non-faller groups (n=18). Participants attended one testing session in which they completed the L-Test and Timed Up-and Go (TUG) single-task, manual and cognitive dual-task conditions [1, 5]. Correlations between each of the L-Test and TUG conditions were determined using Spearman’s Rank Order Correlation Coefficients (rho) for non-parametric data. Predictive ability for each of the test conditions in identifying fallers was determined using univariable regression analysis.
Results: Significant positive correlations were found between the L-Test manual dual-task and cognitive dual-task conditions and the corresponding TUG conditions (rho=0.94, p<0.001, 95% CI=0.87-0.97 and rho=0.92, p<0.001, 95% CI=0.84-0.97 respectively). However, none of the test conditions had the ability to distinguish between fallers and non-fallers (p≤0.05).
Conclusion: The L-Test is a valid measure for the assessment of dual-task walking ability in people with mild-moderate PD and is easily implemented in clinical practice. However, none of the L-Test or TUG conditions could distinguish between fallers and non-fallers and study findings concur with recommendations from other studies that dual-task mobility assessments should only be used as part of a multi-factorial falls risk assessment. Future larger-scale studies using prospective falls evaluation are necessary to establish predictive ability of the dual-task L-Test in identifying fallers.
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To cite this abstract in AMA style:C. Griffin, A. Belton, N. Kavanagh, R. Walsh, H. French. The Concurrent Validity of the Dual-Task L-Test in Parkinson’s Disease and its Predictive Ability in Identifying Falls [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2021; 36 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/the-concurrent-validity-of-the-dual-task-l-test-in-parkinsons-disease-and-its-predictive-ability-in-identifying-falls/. Accessed December 7, 2023.
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