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Geriatrics 2016, 1(1), 2;

Preliminary Investigation on the Association between Depressive Symptoms and Driving Performance in Heart Failure

Department of Psychological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
Summa Cardiovascular Institute, Akron, OH 44309, USA
Center for Senior Health, Summa Health System, Akron, OH 44304, USA
The Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders Center, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Max Toepper
Received: 18 August 2015 / Revised: 3 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 23 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Driving Skills in Older Adults)
Full-Text   |   PDF [189 KB, uploaded 23 December 2015]


Heart failure (HF) patients commit many errors on driving simulation tasks and cognitive dysfunction appears to be one important contributor to impaired driving in HF. Clinical modifiers of cognition may also play a key role. In particular, depression is common in HF patients, linked with cognitive dysfunction, and contributes to reduced driving fitness in non-HF samples. However, the associations among depressive symptoms, cognition, and driving in HF are unclear. Eighteen HF patients completed a validated simulated driving scenario, the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and a cognitive test battery. Partial correlations controlling for demographic and medical confounds showed higher BDI-II score correlated with greater number of collisions, centerline crossings, and % time out of lane. Increased depressive symptoms correlated with lower attention/executive function, and reduced performance in this domain was associated with a greater number of collisions, centerline crossing, and % time out of lane. Depressive symptoms may be related to poorer driving performance in HF, perhaps through association with cognitive dysfunction. However, larger studies with on-road testing are needed to replicate our preliminary findings before recommendations for clinical practice can be made. View Full-Text
Keywords: heart failure; driving simulation; cognitive function; depression; aging heart failure; driving simulation; cognitive function; depression; aging
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Alosco, M.L.; Penn, M.S.; Spitznagel, M.B.; Cleveland, M.J.; Ott, B.R.; Gunstad, J. Preliminary Investigation on the Association between Depressive Symptoms and Driving Performance in Heart Failure. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 2.

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