The Effect of Rhythmic Musical Training on Healthy Older Adults' Gait and Cognitive Function

Linda M. Maclean*, Laura J. E. Brown, Arlene J. Astell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose of the Study: Older adults' gait is disturbed when a demanding secondary cognitive task is added. Gait training has been shown to improve older adults' walking performance, but it is not clear how training affects their cognitive performance. This study examined the impact on gait, in terms of cost or benefit to cognitive performance, of training healthy older adults to walk to a rhythmic musical beat. Design and Methods: In a mixed model design, 45 healthy older adults aged more than 65 years (M = 71.7 years) were randomly assigned to 3 groups. One group received a rhythmic musical training and their dual-task (DT) walking and cognitive performances were compared with a group who had music playing in the background but no training, and a third group who heard no music and received no training. Outcomes in singletask (ST) and DT conditions were step-time variability and velocity for gait and correct cognitive responses for the cognitive task. Results: The Musical Training group's step-time variability improved in both the ST (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-633
Number of pages10
JournalGerontologist
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Dual task
  • Musical training
  • Cognition
  • PARKINSONS-DISEASE PATIENTS
  • EXPLICIT PRIORITIZATION
  • ELDERLY-PEOPLE
  • IMPROVE GAIT
  • WALKING
  • BALANCE
  • VARIABILITY
  • STIMULATION
  • FALLS
  • AGE

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