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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2019 April;55(2):281-90

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.19.05556-4

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Dual-task effects in children with neuromotor dysfunction: a systematic review

Gisele M. PENA, Silvia L. PAVÃO , Maria F. OLIVEIRA, Ana C. de CAMPOS, Nelci A. ROCHA

Laboratory of Child Development Analysis, Section of Neuropediatrics, Physical Therapy Department, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, Brazil



INTRODUCTION: Based on the assumption that motor actions result from the interaction between cognitive, perceptual, mechanical and neurological mechanisms, neuromotor dysfunctions are expected to impair central coordination processes required to perform dual-tasks. The aim of the present work was to systematically review the literature concerning the effects of dual-task in the activities performed by children with neuromotor dysfunctions.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A tailored search strategy in relevant databases was conducted by two independent reviewers in August 2018 seeking for online articles published in English evaluating dual-task (motor-motor, cognitive-cognitive or cognitive-motor) effects on activities in subjects with neuromotor dysfunctions younger than 18 years. The following data were extracted: category of dual-task paradigm (motor-motor; cognitive-cognitive; cognitive-motor), primary and secondary tasks, study methods, methodological quality of the studies, and research gaps in the literature.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: We identified 13 full-text reports that fulfilled the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria.
CONCLUSIONS: There are a few high-quality studies addressing dual-task effects on activities performed by children with neuromotor dysfunctions. These children show greater susceptibility to dual-task costs than typical ones. There is a lack of studies addressing children with CP and Down Syndrome, which are highly prevalent and commonly seen in clinical settings. Thus, dual-task effects in children with neuromotor dysfunctions remain a wide research field, with need for further studies to fill in the existing gaps.


KEY WORDS: Child; Neurologic manifestations; Motor neuron disease; Motor skills disorders

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