Influence of music and coactors on the walking distance of adults with Down syndrome




Koval, Colleen J.

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The purpose of this investigation was to determine which randomly assigned noncontingent intervention (walking independently, with a coactor, or to preferred music) could improve self-determination of adults with Down syndrome by increasing the number of steps during a walking exercise class. Participants were 10 adults who were diagnosed with Down syndrome between 24 to 52 years of age. Data were visually analyzed to determine if the participants increased the number of steps taken measured with a pedometer. Based on this visual analysis, there were individual differences among each of the participants between baseline and each of the three interventions. Five of the participants increased the mean number of steps walking with a coactor compared to baseline. One participant had the highest mean number of steps walking during baseline. Further, three participants increased the average number of steps during the intervention of listening to prefened fast tempo music compared to baseline. In addition, one participant had the highest mean number of steps walking independently. A Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to examine the differences on the average number of steps. Results revealed a significant repeated measures effect, [F(3, 91) = 6.03,p < .01] , indicating that that there was a significant difference in the number of steps walked between baseline and the three intervention types for the group. A pairwise comparison for the group revealed that that the interventions all had a greater number of steps than baseline (p < .05).
Maintenance session occurred on two occasions in the same setting. The mean of the maintenance sessions across the participants was similar to the baseline and independent phases, but lower than the coactor or music phases. One generalization session occurred outdoors. Generalization scores were similar compared to the baseline and lower than the interventions. It was concluded that noncontingent interventions can improve self-determination towards exercise experience for adults with Down syndrome. However, they may not be effective in maintaining or generalizing the mean number of steps once the intervention is removed.



Down syndrome, Music therapy, Walking, Self-determination, Intellectual disability, Exercise