Walking while talking: Investigation of alternate forms

Tamar C. Brandler, Mooyeon Oh-Park, Cuiling Wang, Roee Holtzer, Joe Verghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-166
Number of pages3
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Alternate forms
  • Dual task
  • Elderly
  • Practice effects
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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