Driving performance in persons with hemianopia and quadrantanopia assessed under in-traffic conditions

Wood, Joanne M., Elgin, Jennifer, McGwin Jr., Gerald, Meek, G. Chrisine, Vaphiades, Michael S., Braswell, Ronald A., DeCarlo, Dawn K., Kline, Lanning B., & Owsley, Cynthia (2009) Driving performance in persons with hemianopia and quadrantanopia assessed under in-traffic conditions. In Proceedings of the 12 Biennial Scientific and Educators' Meeting in Optometry, Optometrists Association Australia, University of Auckland, Auckland.

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Purpose: To evaluate the on-road driving performance of persons with homonymous hemianopia or quadrantanopia in comparison to age-matched controls with normal visual fields. Methods: Participants were 22 hemianopes and eight quadrantanopes (mean age 53 years) and 30 persons with normal visual fields (mean age 52 years) and were either current drivers or aiming to resume driving. All participants completed a battery of tests of vision (ETDRS visual acuity, Pelli-Robson letter contrast sensitivity, Humphrey visual fields), cognitive tests (trials A and B, Mini Mental State Examination, Digit Symbol Substitution) and an on-road driving assessment. Driving performance was assessed in a dual-brake vehicle with safety monitored by a certified driving rehabilitation specialist. Backseat evaluators masked to the clinical characteristics of participants independently rated driving performance along a 22.7 kilometre route involving urban and interstate driving. Results: Seventy-three per cent of the hemianopes, 88 per cent of quadrantanopes and all of the drivers with normal fields received safe driving ratings. Those hemianopic and quadrantanopic drivers rated as unsafe tended to have problems with maintaining appropriate lane position, steering steadiness and gap judgment compared to controls. Unsafe driving was associated with slower visual processing speed and impairments in contrast sensitivity, visual field sensitivity and executive function. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that some drivers with hemianopia or quadrantanopia are capable of safe driving performance, when compared to those of the same age with normal visual fields. This finding has important implications for the assessment of fitness to drive in this population.

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ID Code: 31478
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The abstract of this paper was published in "Clinical and Experimental Optometry", Vol. 92, no. 1, pp.51-69. [please see DOI].
DOI: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2008.00341.x
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Deposited On: 24 Mar 2010 21:44
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 18:02

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