Driving Simulator Performance and Psychomotor Functions of Schizophrenic Patients Treated with Antipsychotics

This article reports on a study undertaken to evaluate schizophrenic inpatients (n = 80) under antipsychotic monotherapy regarding simulated driving behavior and psychomotor functions related to driving ability. Data were collected before the patients' discharge with the computerized Act & React Testsystem and the Wiener Testsystem; measures included visual perception, reaction time, attention, vigilance and stress-tolerance. In addition, patients underwent various driving simulations on a static driving simulator (FT-SR 200). The authors found that, in this schizophrenic population preparing for discharge, about 25% must be considered as severely impaired with respect to driving skills. Differences between treatment groups, based on types of drug therapy, could be shown both in psychomotor measures and in driving simulator performance with a better test performance of patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Controlling for age, psychopathologic symptoms and extrapyramidal signs, differences in psychomotor measures were most pronounced in concentration and vigilance. As mental disorders themselves already pose an increased risk of accidents, it becomes vital to counsel patients regarding the effects of their antipsychotic treatments. The authors conclude that, in addition to psychomotor tests, computer-simulated driving is a useful tool in assessing traffic safety in patients undergoing pharmacologic treatment.

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  • Authors:
    • Brunnauer, Alexander
    • Laux, Gerd
    • Zwick, Sarah
  • Publication Date: 2009-12


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01150409
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 9 2010 11:18AM