Keh-chung Lin, Yi-fang Wu, I-chen Chen, Pei-luen Tsai, Ching-yi Wu, Chia-ling Chen; Dual-Task Performance Involving Hand Dexterity and Cognitive Tasks and Daily Functioning in People With Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(3):6903250020. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.014738
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. This study investigated separate and concurrent performance on cognitive and hand dexterity tasks and the relationship to daily functioning in 16 people with schizophrenia and 16 healthy control participants.
METHOD. Participants performed the Purdue Pegboard Test and the Serial Seven Subtraction Test under single- and dual-task conditions and completed two daily functioning evaluations.
RESULTS. The hand dexterity of all participants declined in the dual-task condition, but the discrepancy between single-task and dual-task hand dexterity was greater in the schizophrenia group than in the control group (p < .03, d > .70, for all). The extent of discrepancy in hand dexterity was negatively correlated with daily functioning in the schizophrenia group (rs = −.3 to −.5, ps = .04–.26).
CONCLUSION. Ability to perform dual tasks may be an indicator of daily functioning in people with schizophrenia. Use of dual-task training may be considered as a therapeutic activity with these clients.
Dual-task performance can be considered a behavioral marker to assist in designing intervention programs to address daily functional performance in people with schizophrenia (e.g., work hardening programs, maintenance functions within the areas of self-care and productivity).
To improve or avoid deterioration in hand dexterity, occupational therapy practitioners can simplify tasks and contexts for people with schizophrenia.
Practitioners can consider using dual tasks as a therapeutic activity for people with schizophrenia; improvements in hand dexterity in a dual-task situation might promote ADL function.
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