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Title:Virtual street-crossing performance in persons with multiple sclerosis: Implications for pedestrian safety
Author(s):Stratton, Michelle E.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):multiple sclerosis
street crossing
Abstract:The ability to cross the street successfully requires physical and cognitive proficiency. Multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive neurological disease affecting the central nervous system, leads to impairments in physical and cognitive functioning, and thus might impact the ability to safely navigate a roadway environment. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the feasibility and safety of assessing street crossing performance in people with MS, and to identify differences in street crossing performance between people with MS and non-MS controls. We further examined the relationship between street crossing performance and fitness and functional outcomes within the MS sample. Participants completed 40 trials of a virtual street crossing task of walking on a manual treadmill through an immersive, 3-dimensional roadway environment. There were 2 crossing conditions (i.e., no distraction, talking on a phone); participants performed 20 trials of each. For all trials participants were instructed that the goal was to cross the street successfully. Street crossing performance was assessed as trial duration, success rate, and collision rate. Outcome measures of functional movement and fitness were walking speed, walking endurance, cognition, aerobic capacity, and muscular strength. Overall, assessing street crossing performance in people with MS was feasible and safe as there was a 93% completion rate, with no reported adverse events in the MS sample. Participants with MS took longer to cross the street than controls (p < .05). In the MS sample, walking speed correlated with trial duration, success rate and collision rate (r = .52-.58, pall < .05). Walking endurance correlated with trial duration, success rate and collision rate (r = .55-.59), pall < .05). Aerobic capacity correlated with success rate and collision rate (r = .42, pall = .03). Regression analyses revealed that walking speed and endurance were independent predictors of street crossing performance for trial duration (pall < .01). Street crossing performance is impaired in persons with MS compared to controls. Walking ability and aerobic capacity appear to be the most important variables for street crossing. Rehabilitation interventions might target these variables for improving real world street crossing performance and pedestrian.
Issue Date:2015-04-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Michelle Stratton
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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