Background In recent times, increasing safety concerns have been associated with the use of mobile phones by pedestrians. In particular, texting has been shown to significantly alter gait patterns. However, no specific investigations have been performed on people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS), who are already characterized by gait dysfunctions caused by the disease. Objective To assess the existence of possible alterations in spatio-temporal parameters of gait in pwMS when simultaneously texting on a smartphone and walking. Methods Fifty-four pwMS (mean age 40.5 ± 10.5) and 40 age-matched unaffected individuals were tested in two conditions: walking, and walking while texting on a smartphone. Spatio-temporal parameters of gait were assessed using a wearable accelerometer located on the lower back. Results Texting induces reduction of gait speed, stride length and cadence in both groups, but such changes were smaller in magnitude in pwMS. An increase of stance and double support and reduction of swing phase were observed in pwMS only. Conclusions Texting alters gait patterns of pwMS differently from unaffected individuals, probably due to a different prioritization of the task, which appears to take into account the motor and sensory impairments associated with the disease by favoring the motor task.

Texting while walking differently alters gait patterns in people with multiple sclerosis and healthy individuals

Pau, Massimiliano
Conceptualization
;
Corona, Federica
Data Curation
;
Pilloni, Giuseppina
Data Curation
;
Porta, Micaela
Formal Analysis
;
Coghe, Giancarlo
Supervision
;
Cocco, Eleonora
Writing – Review & Editing
2018-01-01

Abstract

Background In recent times, increasing safety concerns have been associated with the use of mobile phones by pedestrians. In particular, texting has been shown to significantly alter gait patterns. However, no specific investigations have been performed on people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS), who are already characterized by gait dysfunctions caused by the disease. Objective To assess the existence of possible alterations in spatio-temporal parameters of gait in pwMS when simultaneously texting on a smartphone and walking. Methods Fifty-four pwMS (mean age 40.5 ± 10.5) and 40 age-matched unaffected individuals were tested in two conditions: walking, and walking while texting on a smartphone. Spatio-temporal parameters of gait were assessed using a wearable accelerometer located on the lower back. Results Texting induces reduction of gait speed, stride length and cadence in both groups, but such changes were smaller in magnitude in pwMS. An increase of stance and double support and reduction of swing phase were observed in pwMS only. Conclusions Texting alters gait patterns of pwMS differently from unaffected individuals, probably due to a different prioritization of the task, which appears to take into account the motor and sensory impairments associated with the disease by favoring the motor task.
2018
Gait; Texting; Smartphone; Spatio-temporal; Dual-task
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/231691
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