The effects of attentional focus instructions on learning of balance task amongst Parkinson disease patients

AUTHORS

Naser Zangiabadi 1 , Elmira Shoraka 2 , Alireza Saberi Kakhki 3 , *

1 Assistant Professor Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

2 MSc of Motor Behavior, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor Department of Motor Behavior, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.

How to Cite: Zangiabadi N, Shoraka E, Saberi Kakhki A. The effects of attentional focus instructions on learning of balance task amongst Parkinson disease patients, Hormozgan Med J. 2013 ; 17(4):e88189.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Hormozgan Medical Journal: 17 (4); e88189
Published Online: April 23, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: October 04, 2011
Accepted: April 23, 2012

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Abstract

Introduction: Studies with adults have shown that an external focus of attention results in
more learning and greater automaticity than an internal focus. Hence, this study was
conducted to evaluate the effects of attentional focus instructions on learning of balance skill
amongst patients with Parkinson disease.
Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, all Parkinson's disease patients referred to
neurology clinic were examined by a neurologist and 23 patients who met the inclusion
criteria of this study were evaluated using Berg balance scale. They were randomly assigned
to control, external, and internal groups. The participants of each group practiced Berg
balance scale for five days and then conducted the retention test, 72 hours after the last
session. To compare the results of 4 stages of practice, analysis of variance for repeated data
was used and P<0.05 was considered statistical significant.
Results: Using Berg balance scale revealed that the participants' balance improved in all
control, internal and external groups regarding performance and retention. The comparison
between the groups also showed that although the external group performed better than the
other two groups, there was no significant difference between them regarding performance
and retention.
Conclusion: The results of this study confirmed the effect of practice on improvement of
balance skill amongst patients with Parkinson's disease. However, external and internal
attentional focus instructions had no advantage over one another. Therefore, it seems that
attentional focus instructions do not probably act similarly in all types of skills and
educational environments.

Keywords

Parkinson Disease – Performance – Retention - Balance

© 2013, Hormozgan Medical Journal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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