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Abstract

Background: Using a mobile phone while performing a postural and locomotor tasks is a common, daily situation. Conversing or sending messages (SMS) while walking account for a significant share of accidental injuries. Therefore, understanding the consequences of using a mobile phone on balance and walking is important, all the more so when these postural and locomotor tasks are aggravated by a disease. Research question: Our objective was to conduct a scoping review on the influence of a dual-task situation – generated by the use of mobile phones – on users' postural and/or locomotor tasks. Methods: The literature search was conducted in English on PubMed/Medline and CINHAL databases, using keywords associated with postural and locomotor tasks and with the use of mobile phones. Study location, population, number of subjects, experimental design, types of phone use, evaluated postural-locomotor tasks and expected effects were then analyzed. Results and significance: 46 studies were included in this work, 24 of which came from North America. All studies compared postural and locomotor tasks with and without the use of a smartphone. Ten studies also compared at least 2 groups with different characteristics. Only 4 studies included pathological subjects. Various modalities were tested, and most studies focused on walking. Results show that the use of smartphones slows down movement and induces a systematic imbalance, except when listening to music. The dual task of "using the smartphone during a postural or locomotor tasks" induces systematic disturbances of balance and movement, which must be taken into account in the rehabilitation approach. Future studies will have to extend the knowledge regarding pathological situations.

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