INTRODUCTION: Aside from primary vestibular symptoms such as vertigo and dizziness, persons with vestibular dysfunction frequently express cognitive and motor problems. These symptoms have mainly been assessed in single-task setting, which might not represent activities of daily living accurately. Therefore, a dual-task protocol, consisting of the simultaneous performance of cognitive and motor tasks, was developed. This protocol assesses cognitive and motor performance in general, as well as cognitive-motor interference in specific.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The motor component of the 2BALANCE protocol consists of a static and dynamic postural task. These motor tasks are combined with different cognitive tasks assessing visuospatial cognition, processing speed, working memory and response inhibition. First, test-retest reliability will be assessed with an interval of 2 weeks in a group of young adults. Second, the 2BALANCE protocol will be validated in persons with bilateral vestibulopathy. Finally, the protocol will be implemented in persons with unilateral vestibular loss.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The 2BALANCE project aims to elucidate the impact of vestibular dysfunction on cognitive and motor performance in dual-task setting. This protocol represents everyday situations better than single-task protocols, as dual-tasks such as reading street signs while walking are often encountered during daily activities. Ultimately, this project could enable individualised and holistic clinical care in these patients, taking into account single as well as dual-task performance.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The current study was approved by the ethics committee of Ghent University Hospital on 5 July 2019 with registration number B670201940465. All research findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and presented at vestibular as well as multidisciplinary international conferences and meetings.
TRIALS REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04126798, pre-results phase.