Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.H.K.

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Nancy McNevin

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences, Asymmetric gait, Attentional focus, Dynamic stability, Hemiplegic gait, Supra postural task

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Dynamic stability during walking is important to prevent falls and to integrate patients into community ambulation. This study tries to examine the effect of attentional focus, mainly external focus of attention on a supra postural task while walking, in hemiplegic patients. Three cases were examined in detail. The participants were made to walk on a GAITRite(TM) walkway under three experimental conditions: 1) Baseline walking 2) Walking with a supra postural task with no instructional cues and performing a verbal task 3) Walking with a supra postural task with specific attentional focus instructions and the spatial and temporal parameters are recorded. The supra postural task was to hold a mug assumed to contain water. The asymmetry ratios and variability are computed to examine the changes in the symmetry of the gait pattern in each experimental condition. The results show that attentional focus does not improve temporal and spatial symmetry in hemiplegic patients where spasticity and balance issues are persistent.

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