Abstract

The study focused on the role of traditional and computer-administered visual attention and executive measures in the prediction of driving competence in older individuals with early-stage cognitive decline. A group of 23 patients with questionable dementia by Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR = 0.5) was evaluated with a group of 23 age-matched controls. For the patient group, correlational analyses revealed that road-test performance was significantly related to a number of executive and visual attention measures but not to other neuropsychological measures. For the control group, road-test performance was only significantly related to age. A hierarchical regression procedure was utilized to further explore the contribution of specific executive and visual attention measures and 46% of the variance in road-test performance was attributable to these measures for the patient group. A discriminant function analysis utilizing executive and visual attention measures for the entire group of participants classified those who passed and failed the road test with 80% accuracy. Neuropsychological executive and visual attention measures may play a useful role in determining competence to drive in older individuals with early-stage cognitive decline.

Author notes

1
Roger Williams Medical Center—Psychiatry, 825 Chalkstone Ave., Providence, RI 02908.