Cognitive Functioning and Driving Simulator Performance in Middle-aged and Older Adults With HIV

Vance DE,Fazeli PL,Ball DA,Slater LZ,Ross LA.

Abstract

Nearly half of people living with HIV experience cognitive deficits that may impact instrumental activities of daily living. As the number of people aging with HIV increases, concerns mount that disease-related cognitive deficits may be compounded by age-related deficits, which may further compromise everyday functions such as driving. In this cross-sectional pilot study, during a 2.5-hour visit, 26 middle-aged and older adults (40 + years) were administered demographic, health, psychosocial, and driving habits questionnaires; cognitive assessments; and driving simulator tests. Although CD4+ T lymphocyte count and viral load were unrelated to driving performance, older age was related to poorer driving. Furthermore, poorer visual speed of processing performance (i.e., useful field of view) was related to poorer driving performance (e.g., average gross reaction time). Mixed findings were observed between driving performance and cognitive function on self-reported driving habits of participants. Implications for these findings on nursing practice and research are posited.

Copyright © 2014 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.