Dual Task of Fine Motor Skill and Problem Solving in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study

Y. Goverover, B. M. Sandroff, J. DeLuca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To (1) examine and compare dual-task performance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls (HCs) using mathematical problem-solving questions that included an everyday competence component while performing an upper extremity fine motor task; and (2) examine whether difficulties in dual-task performance are associated with problems in performing an everyday internet task. Design: Pilot study, mixed-design with both a within and between subjects’ factor. Setting: A nonprofit rehabilitation research institution and the community. Participants: Participants (N=38) included persons with MS (n=19) and HCs (n=19) who were recruited from a nonprofit rehabilitation research institution and from the community. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Participant were presented with 2 testing conditions: (1) solving mathematical everyday problems or placing bolts into divots (single-task condition); and (2) solving problems while putting bolts into divots (dual-task condition). Additionally, participants were required to perform a test of everyday internet competence. Results: As expected, dual-task performance was significantly worse than either of the single-task tasks (ie, number of bolts into divots or correct answers, and time to answer the questions). Cognitive but not motor dual-task cost was associated with worse performance in activities of everyday internet tasks. Conclusions: Cognitive dual-task cost is significantly associated with worse performance of everyday technology. This was not observed in the motor dual-task cost. The implications of dual-task costs on everyday activity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Activities of daily living
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Motor activity
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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