Parkinson's disease, dual task performance, postural stability, speaking task


Because people frequently talk while engaged in other activities, and because Parkinson's disease (PD) is known to diminish multi-tasking performance, we examined dual task interference between speaking and postural stability in 9 individuals with PD, 7 age-matched and 10 healthy young controls. Participants repeated a target utterance and performed a rise to toes task in both single and dual task conditions. Diphthong transitions were measured from audio recordings and postural variables reflecting planning, coordination, and stability were derived from a multi-camera motion capture system and force plate recordings. Thus, sensitive measures of both control groups for the isolated postural task, but their single task speech measures did not differ from the controls, in spite of listener ratings which indicated mild to moderate dysarthria severity. The group with PD showed evidence of bidirectional dual task interference in that there were reduced diphthong extents and slopes along with smaller, slower, and less stable postural movements. These results indicate that concurrent performance of speech and a challenging postural control task impairs speech and postural stability in persons with PD and may result in greater risk during daily activities.

Original Publication Citation

Dromey, C., Jarvis, E., Sondrup, S., Nissen, S., Foreman, K.B. & Dibble, L.E. (2010). Bidirectional interference between speech and postural stability in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 12, 446454.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Taylor & Francis




David O. McKay School of Education


Communication Disorders