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The impact of HIV-related neuropsychological dysfunction on driving behavior

  • THOMAS D. MARCOTTE (a1), ROBERT K. HEATON (a1), TANYA WOLFSON (a1), MICHAEL J. TAYLOR (a1), OMAR ALHASSOON (a1), KAIVON ARFAA (a1), IGOR GRANT (a1) (a2) and THE HNRC GROUP...
    • Published online: 01 November 1999
Abstract

HIV infection often results in neuropsychological (NP) impairment. In order to assess the impact that HIV-related NP deficits may have on automobile driving, we evaluated 68 HIV-seropositive drivers using an NP battery and two PC-based driving simulations. Thirty-two participants were classified as NP impaired; most (72%) evidenced only mild impairment, and none met criteria for HIV-associated dementia. After controlling for degree of immunosuppression and disease stage, NP-impaired participants failed a previously validated driving simulation at a much higher rate than cognitively intact participants [OR = 5.3, 95% CI (1.7, 17.0), p = .006]. Similarly, on a simulation of city driving, NP impaired participants were more likely to fail based upon the number of accidents [OR = 6.1, 95% CI (1.5, 24.6), p = .01]. Simulator performance was predicted by functioning in a number of NP domains, with NP tests accounting for 13–30% of the variance on the simulations. Although it would be premature to extrapolate these findings to impairment in on-the-road driving, they do argue for greater attention to the impact that even mild HIV-related NP deficits may have on driving skills. (JINS, 1999, 5, 579–592.)

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Corresponding author
Reprint requests to: Thomas D. Marcotte, HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, 2760 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92103. E-mail: tmarcotte@ucsd.edu
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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
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