Background/Aims: Analogy learning is a motor learning strategy that uses biomechanical metaphors to chunk together explicit rules of a to-be-learned motor skill. This proof-of-concept study establishes the feasibility and potential benefits of analogy learning in enhancing stride length regulation in people with Parkinson's disease. Methods: Walking performance of thirteen individuals with Parkinson's disease was analysed using a Codamotion analysis system. An analogy instruction: 'following footprints in the sand' was practised over eight walking trials. Single-and dual-task (motor and cognitive) conditions were measured before training, immediately after training and 4 weeks post training. Finally, an evaluation form was completed to examine the intervention's feasibility. Findings: Data from 12 individuals (6 females and 6 males, mean age 70, Hoehn and Yahr grade I-III) were analysed; one person withdrew due to back problems. In the single-task condition, statistically and clinically relevant improvements were obtained. A positive trend towards reducing dual-task costs after the intervention was demonstrated, supporting the relatively implicit nature of the analogy. Participants reported that the analogy was simple to use and became easier over time. Conclusions: Analogy learning is a feasible and potentially implicit (i. e. reduced working memory demands) intervention to facilitate walking performance in people with Parkinson's disease.
|Journal||International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2016|
- Implicit motor learning
- Parkinson's disease