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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2017, Article ID 1378308, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1378308
Research Article

Assessing Cognitive Ability and Simulator-Based Driving Performance in Poststroke Adults

1School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia
2School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden
3Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences (IMH), Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Pain and Rehabilitation Centre, UHL, County Council, Linköping, Sweden
4School of Occupational Therapy, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
5Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Human Factors, Göteborg, Sweden

Correspondence should be addressed to Hoe C. Lee; ua.ude.nitruc@eel.h

Received 18 November 2016; Accepted 14 February 2017; Published 7 May 2017

Academic Editor: Fred S. Sarfo

Copyright © 2017 Alison Blane et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Driving is an important activity of daily living, which is increasingly relied upon as the population ages. It has been well-established that cognitive processes decline following a stroke and these processes may influence driving performance. There is much debate on the use of off-road neurological assessments and driving simulators as tools to predict driving performance; however, the majority of research uses unlicensed poststroke drivers, making the comparability of poststroke adults to that of a control group difficult. It stands to reason that in order to determine whether simulators and cognitive assessments can accurately assess driving performance, the baseline should be set by licenced drivers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess differences in cognitive ability and driving simulator performance in licensed community-dwelling poststroke drivers and controls. Two groups of licensed drivers (37 poststroke and 43 controls) were assessed using several cognitive tasks and using a driving simulator. The poststroke adults exhibited poorer cognitive ability; however, there were no differences in simulator performance between groups except that the poststroke drivers demonstrated less variability in driver headway. The application of these results as a prescreening toolbox for poststroke drivers is discussed.