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Title: Does walking speed predict change in cognitive function late after head injury?
Author: Pritchett, Rachel
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: Severe head injury (HI) has been shown to be a trigger for neurodegeneration (Gupta, 2016) while research into predictors of cognitive decline has found walking speed to be a useful predictor of changes in cognition over time. It is therefore important to explore what we know about whether walking speed could predict cognitive decline in this ‘at risk’ group after a head injury. Little research has been reported on HI and this review is broadened to include any acquired brain injury (ABI). Research Question: Can walking speed screen for cognitive function in people who have experienced an ABI? Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted to identify available literature which explored an association between cognition and walking speed in those who had experienced an ABI. Results: The search identifies five articles that meet inclusion criteria; four include participants with a stroke, and one, participants with head injury (HI). The papers are evaluated for quality and a narrative synthesis is used to combine and interpret the results. There is not enough evidence to reach conclusions about people who have experienced a HI, however some evidence suggests that walking speed could be a useful predictor of cognition over time following a stroke. The importance of considering time post stroke and the use of walking speed as part of a dual task are discussed. Significance: Walking speed offers the potential of a quick, easy and naturalistic method of detecting risk for cognitive change, hence exploring the potential role of walking speed in predicting this risk may have important clinical and research implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology