Postural Stability Under Dual-Task Conditions: Development of a Post-Concussion Assessment for Lower Extremity Injury Risk.
CONTEXT: Concussions are consequence of sports participation. Recent reports indicate there is an increased risk of lower extremity musculoskeletal injury when returning to sport after concussion suggesting that achieving 'normal' balance may not fully indicate the athlete is ready for competition. The increased risk of injury may indicate the need to refine a screening tool for clearance. OBJECTIVE: Assess the between-session reliability and the effects of adding a cognitive task to static and dynamic postural stability testing in a healthy population. SETTING: Clinical laboratory. PARTICIPANTS: Twelve healthy subjects (six females; Age: 22.3 ± 2.9 years; Height: 174.4 ± 7.5 cm; Weight: 70.1 ± 12.7 kg) participated. DESIGN: Subjects underwent static and dynamic postural stability testing with and without the addition of a cognitive task (Stroop Test). Test battery was repeated 10 days later. Dynamic postural stability testing consisted of a forward jump over a hurdle with a one-legged landing. A stability index was calculated. Static postural stability was also assessed with and without the cognitive task during single-leg balance. Variability of each ground reaction force component was averaged. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Interclass correlation coefficients (ICC, 2,1) were computed to determine the reliability. Standard error of measure, mean standard error, mean detectable change, and 95% confidence interval were all calculated. RESULTS: Mean differences between-sessions were low, with the majority of variables having moderate to excellent reliability (Static: 0.583-0.877; Dynamic: 0.581-0.939). The addition of the dual-task did not have any significant affect on reliability of the task; however, generally the ICC values improved (Eyes-open: 0.583-0.770; Dual-Task: 0.741-0.808). CONCLUSIONS: The addition of a cognitive load to postural stability assessments had moderate to excellent reliability in a healthy population. These results provide initial evidence on the feasibility of dual-task postural stability testing when examining risk of LEMI following RTS in a concussed population.
Westwood, C; Killelea, C; Faherty, M; Sell, T
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