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Cognitive-Motor Dual-Task Performance of the Landing Error Scoring System.

CONTEXT: The Landing Error Scoring System (LESS) is a common assessment used to determine biomechanical landing errors. However, this assessment is completed as a single motor task, which does not require additional attentional resources. It is unclear if the LESS can be used to detect cognitive-motor interference (i.e., dual-task cost) in biomechanical errors associated with lower extremity injury.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if the LESS is a suitable clinical assessment of dual-task performance in uninjured females and to evaluate whether specific landing criteria are more affected by an additional cognitive load than others.

DESIGN: Observational Cross-Sectional Design. Setting: University research laboratory.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Twenty uninjured, physically active females participated. Intervention(s): Participants performed the LESS under three different conditions: baseline landing with no cognitive distraction (Single), a visual-based dual-task (Visual), and a number-based dual-task (Number).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES(S): Mean sagittal, frontal, and total LESS scores were compared between conditions using a one-way repeated measures analysis of variance with Tukey post hoc corrections. Cohen's d effect sizes with 95% confidence intervals were used to determine the magnitude of differences. The frequency of errors for each individual LESS item under the three conditions were compared using Chi-Squared analyses.

RESULTS: Participants exhibited greater sagittal plane (P=.013, d=0.91 [0.26, 1.56]) and total (P=.008, d=1.03 [0.37, 1.69]) errors during the Visual condition compared to the Single condition. Frontal plane errors were significantly greater during the Number condition compared to the Single condition (P=.008, d=1.03 [0.37, 1.69]). The frequency of errors observed for each LESS item did not statistically differ between conditions (all P>.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The LESS was able to detect a dual-task cost in landing errors during both the Visual and Number conditions. We recommend developing clinically-oriented solutions to incorporate similar dual- task paradigms in traditional injury risk reduction programs.

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