PURPOSE: This study examined the effects of the confusion level in performing dual tasks using smartphones while walking in subjects with chronic ankle instability (CAI).
METHODS: Twenty subjects with CAI and 20 healthy subjects participated in the study. The spatial, temporal, spatial-temporal, and variability gait parameters were measured using GAITRite under four different conditions: general gait, web surfing during gait, texting during gait, and gaming during gait. Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to analyze the interaction according to the group (2) and confusion level in dual-tasks (4). One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare the changes within the group according to the confusion level in dual-tasks. The changes between groups were compared using an independent t-test. The statistical significance level was set to p = .05.
RESULTS: Significant interactions in the temporal and spatial-temporal gait parameters were found between the dual-task conditions and the other groups (p < .05). Significant within-group differences in the spatial, temporal, and spatial-temporal gait parameters were found according to the confusion level in dual tasks (p < .05). Significant between-group differences were observed in the temporal and spatial-temporal gait parameters according to the confusion level in dual tasks (p < .05).
CONCLUSION: The effect of the confusion level in dual tasks was greater in subjects with CAI than in healthy individuals. This study suggests that to prevent reinjury to the ankle, subjects with CAI should avoid dual tasks such as using smartphones while walking.