Investigating the Effects of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Treatment on Driving and Attentional Performance of Patients with Sleep Impairments

TitleInvestigating the Effects of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Treatment on Driving and Attentional Performance of Patients with Sleep Impairments
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsVatakis, A, Portouli, E, Bekiaris, E
Conference NameInternational Workshop on Wearable Micro and Nanosystems for Personalised Health, pHealth
AbstractSleep apnea syndrome (SAS) may increase the risk for serious injury and accidents while driving. Although studies have shown (using subjective measures) that sleep apnea could be a serious risk factor for motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), currently no exact statistics and objective measures exist that define this risk. Furthermore, it has not yet been established whether treatment of SAS using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) reduces the risk for MVAs and what is the required treatment period before a SAS patient is considered fit to drive. In the present study, therefore, we investigated the risk of MVAs for SAS patients and the effects of CPAP treatment on this risk. Specifically, we compared healthy controls and SAS patients before and after CPAP treatment on a series of attentional tests and two different driving tasks on a vehicle simulator. Preliminary results demonstrated that untreated SAS patients had more MVAs, maintained higher mean speed, and were involved in higher lane deviation variability in the simulated driving tasks as compared to treated patients and healthy controls. Overall, these preliminary data suggest that SAS is a serious risk for MVAs that can be reduced by CPAP treatment, thus European driving regulations should be adjusted accordingly for SAS patients that wish to drive.
URLhttp://www.tsb.upv.es/eventos/phealth2008/Events/papers/p3.pdf