Patients suffering from vestibular disorders (VD) often present with impairments in cognitive domains such as visuospatial ability, memory, executive function, attention, and processing speed. These symptoms can be attributed to extensive vestibular projections throughout the cerebral cortex and subcortex on the one hand, and to increased cognitive-motor interference
(CMI) on the other hand. CMI can be assessed by performing cognitive-motor dual-tasks
(DTs). The existing literature on this topic is scarce and varies greatly when it comes to test protocol, type and degree of vestibular impairment
, and outcome. To develop a reliable and sensitive test protocol for VD patients, an overview of the existing reliability
studies on DT paradigms will be given in a variety of populations, such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and elderly.
The systematic review
was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. An extensive literature search on psychometric properties of cognitive-motor DTs was run on MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Databases. The studies were assessed for eligibility by two independent researchers, and their methodological quality was subsequently evaluated using the Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN).
Results and Conclusions:
Thirty-three studies were included in the current review. Based on the reliability
calculations, including a static as well as dynamic motor task seems valuable in a DT protocol for VD patients. To evoke CMI maximally in this population, both motor tasks should be performed while challenging the vestibular cognitive domains. Out of the large amount of cognitive tasks employed in DT studies, a clear selection for each of these domains, except for visuospatial abilities, could be made based on this review. The use of the suggested DTs will give a more accurate and daily life representation of cognitive and motor deficiencies and their interaction in the VD population.