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Impaired Touchscreen Skills in Parkinson's Disease and Effects of Medication

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Background: Deficits in fine motor skills may impair device manipulation including touchscreens in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Objectives: To investigate the impact of PD and anti-parkinsonian medication on the ability to use touchscreens.Methods: Twelve PD patients (H&Y II-III), OFF and ON medication, and 12 healthy controls (HC) performed tapping, single and multi-direction sliding tasks on a touchscreen and a mobile phone task (MPT). Task performance was compared between patients (PD-OFF, PD-ON) and HC and between medication conditions.Results: Significant differences were found in touchscreen timing parameters, while accuracy was comparable between groups. PD-OFF needed more time than HC to perform single (p = 0.048) and multi-direction (p = 0.004) sliding tasks and to grab the dot before sliding (i.e. transition times) (p = 0.040; p = 0.004). For tapping, dopaminergic medication significantly increased performance times (p = 0.046) to comparable levels as those of HC. However, for the more complex multi-direction sliding, movement times remained slower in PD than HC irrespective of medication intake (p < 0.050 during ON and OFF). The transition times for the multi-direction sliding task was also higher in PD-ON than HC (p = 0.048). Touchscreen parameters significantly correlated with MPT performance, supporting the ecological validity of the touchscreen tool.Conclusions: PD patients show motor problems when manipulating touchscreens, even when optimally medicated. This hinders using mobile technology in daily life and has implications for developing adequate E-health applications for this group. Future work needs to establish whether touchscreen training is effective in PD.
Tijdschrift: Movement Disorders Clinical Practice
Issue: 4
Volume: 8
Pagina's: 1 - 9
Jaar van publicatie:2021