Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2023 Nov 4:S0003-9993(23)00608-1. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2023.10.013. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between cognitive and motor performance in individuals with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and examine differences in both cognitive and motor performance between adults after mTBI and healthy controls.
DESIGN: Multi-center, cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Three institutional sites (Courage Kenny Research Center, Minneapolis, MN, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT).
PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected from 110 participants, including those with mTBI and healthy controls, who completed cognitive and physical performance assessments.
INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Cognitive assessments involved the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics to evaluate domains of attention, memory, reaction time, processing speed, and executive function. Physical performance was evaluated through clinical performance assessments, such as the 1-min walk test, the modified Illinois Agility Test, the Functional Gait Assessment Tool, the High-Level Mobility Assessment Tool, a complex turning course and a 4-Item Hybrid Assessment of Mobility for mTBI. Participants also completed additional trials of the 1-min walk test, modified Illinois Agility Test, and complex turning course with a simultaneous cognitive task.
RESULTS: Individuals with mTBI performed worse on cognitive assessments, as well as several of the physical performance assessments compared to healthy controls. Complex tasks were more strongly related to cognitive assessments compared to simple walking tasks.
CONCLUSIONS: Combining complex motor tasks with cognitive demands may better demonstrate functional performance in individuals recovering from mTBI. By understanding the relationship between cognitive and physical performance in individuals recovering from mTBI, clinicians may be able to improve clinical care and assist in return to activity decision-making.