The aim of this study was to develop alternate forms of the walking while talking (WWT) dual task, and to determine whether beginning the WWT in mid-alphabet vs. at the beginning of the alphabet, affects task outcomes. Alternate test forms help reduce practice effects leading to more precise estimates of change over time. We conducted a cross-sectional study in 145 community-residing older adults (mean age, 79.2. ±. 6.8. y) without dementia or depression. Subjects performed four WWT trials with a different initial letter (a, b, m or n). There were no differences in velocity, correct letters, or errors on WWT trials beginning at shared points in the alphabet ('. a' compared to '. b' and '. m' compared to '. n'). However, trials initiating with letters from the beginning of the alphabet compared to mid-alphabet showed significant differences (with higher number of correct letters and fewer errors for '. a' and '. b' trials) but not for velocity. Thus, starting WWT in mid-alphabet is different from starting at the beginning of the alphabet. Alternate forms of the WWT with two separate initial letters from a shared point of the alphabet (specifically '. a' and '. b' or '. m' and '. n') may be used upon repeated administration to reduce practice effects.
- Alternate forms
- Dual task
- Practice effects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine