Sunday, December 20, 2015

EXPERIMENTAL REPORT On the road again after traumatic brain injury: driver safety and behaviour following on-road assessment and rehabilitation

CITATION: Ross, Pamela, Jennie L. Ponsford, Marilyn Di Stefano, Judith Charlton, and Gershon Spitz. "On the road again after traumatic brain injury: driver safety and behaviour following on-road assessment and rehabilitation." Disability and rehabilitation (2015): 1-12.

ABSTRACT: Purpose: To examine pre- and post-injury self-reported driver behaviour and safety in individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who returned to driving after occupational therapy driver assessment and on-road rehabilitation. Method: A self-report questionnaire, administered at an average of 4.5 years after completing an on-road driver assessment, documenting pre- and post-injury crash rates, near-crashes, frequency of driving, distances driven, driving conditions avoided and navigation skills, was completed by 106 participants, who had either passed the initial driver assessment (pass group n = 74), or required driver rehabilitation, prior to subsequent assessments (rehabilitation group n = 32). Results: No significant difference was found between pre- and post-injury crash rates. Compared to pre-injury, 36.8% of drivers reported limiting driving time, 40.6% drove more slowly, 41.5% reported greater difficulty with navigating and 20.0% reported more near-crashes. The rehabilitation group (with greater injury severity) was significantly more likely to drive less frequently, shorter distances, avoid: driving with passengers, busy traffic, night and freeway driving than the pass group. Conclusions: Many drivers with moderate/severe TBI who completed a driver assessment and rehabilitation program at least 3 months post-injury, reported modifying their driving behaviour, and did not report more crashes compared to pre-injury. On-road driver training and training in navigation may be important interventions in driver rehabilitation programs.

MY TAKE ON IT: Driving anxiety can result from an acquired impairment to driving ability such as traumatic brain injury.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

EXPERIMENTAL REPORT: The Unifying Creative-Meditation Technique and Physiological Measurement of Anxiety in Romanian Amateur Drivers

TITLE:  "The Unifying Creative-Meditation Technique and Physiological Measurement of Anxiety in Romanian Amateur Drivers."
AUTHOR: Mitrofan, Laurentiu, Mihaela Chraif, Florinda Golu, and Emil-Razvan Gatej.
JOURNAL: Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences
ABSTRACT: Nowadays, road accidents are very frequent. Anxiety plays an important role in traffic safety. In this study, we tried to prove that the Unifying Creative-Meditation Technique has a beneficial effect on anxiety which was measured through physiological parameters. The participants were 30 drivers (for the experimental group) and 30 drivers (for the witness group) that have been selected from our Department's students. The subjects had been part of the experimental group were asked to have the driving license for minimum one year. (Full text here).

MY TAKE: This is a not especially impressive paper. It is full of typos and poorly structured so that it omits most of the information it should include and put the rest in the wrong order. This only thing that is really clear is the authors pro-"Creative-Meditation" bias.  The tool used to choose the experiment group is a general anxiety scale rather than one relating specifically to driving anxiety. Even after combing through the whole thing twice I have no idea  what it has to do with driving behavior at all.  They seem to have left that part.  Along with explaining what "Creative Meditation" actually is.

TL;DR -- Skip this one entirely

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

EXPERIMENTAL REPORT The Driving Behavior Survey as a Measure of Behavioral Stress Responses to MVA-rlated PTSD

TITLE: The Driving Behavior Survey as a Measure of Behavioral Stress Responses to MVA-rlated PTSD
AUTHOR: Aaron S Baker, Scott D Litwack, Joshua D Clapp, J Gayle Beck, Denise M Soan
JOURNAL: Behavior Therapy
ABSTRACT: Numerous treatments are available that address the core symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, there are a number of related behavioral stress responses that are not assessed with PTSD measures, yet these behavioral stress responses affect quality of life. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether a recently developed measure of behavioral stress response, the Driving Behavior Survey (DBS), was sensitive to change associated with treatment among a group of participants diagnosed with PTSD. The DBS indexes anxious driving behavior, which is frequently observed among individuals with motor vehicle accident-related PTSD. Participants (n = 40) were racially diverse adults (M age = 40.78, 63% women) who met diagnostic criteria for motor vehicle accident-related PTSD. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses indicated that participants who were assigned to a brief, exposure-based intervention displayed significant reductions on the DBS subscales relative to participants assigned to the wait-list control condition (r = .41–.43). Moreover, mediational analyses indicated that the observed reductions on the DBS subscales were not better accounted for by reductions in PTSD. Taken together, these findings suggest that the DBS subscales are sensitive to changes associated with PTSD treatment and can be used to augment outcome assessment in PTSD treatment trials.

MY TAKE: When driving anxiety was he result for PTSD caused by a motor vehicle accident, therapeutic writing exercises where they vividly described he accident led to reduced driving anxiety symptoms.

Friday, November 20, 2015

EXPERIMENTAL REPORT: 1 Effect of alprazolam (0.5 mg) on driving performance of anxiety patients and healthy controls Effect of alprazolam (0.5 mg) on driving performance of anxiety patients and healthy controls

TITLE: Effect of alprazolam (0.5 mg) on driving performance of anxiety patients and healthy controls
AUTHOR: Katerina Touliou, Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris, Dr. Maria Panou
JOURNAL: International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (T2013), 20th, 2013, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
ABSTRACT:In the present study the major objective was to investigate the effect of alprazolam in treated and untreated anxiety patients compared to a healthy control group after oral alprazolam administration (0.5 mg) (acute phase) in a simulated environment. Primary variables were the vehicle variables (driving performance measures). The secondary objective was to compare multiple cognitive and subjective measures collected for each participant in order to establish the whole range of driving impairment.(Full text here)

MY TAKE:This study demonstrates that a common medication used for anxiety reduces driving performance.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Parents Need to Talk to Their Children about School Bus Safety at the Start of the School Year

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, from 2004 through 2013, 1,344 people died in school transportation-related crashes—an average of 134 fatalities per year.

“As families begin to prepare for children returning to school, it's important for parents and children to go over school bus safety tips together," says Dawne Gardner, injury prevention coordinator, Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. "This will help ensure a safe, enjoyable start to the school year for everyone.”

According to Gardner, many injuries happen when children are boarding or exiting the bus. “A blind spot extends about ten feet in front of the bus, obstructing the driver’s view,” she says. “Often times, children are not aware of this blind spot and might mistakenly believe that if they can see the bus, the bus driver can see them,” she explains.

Gardner offers the following suggestions to parents on how they can ensure their child is safe before, during and after their school bus ride.

While Waiting for the Bus
• Children should arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is expected to arrive. Early arrival helps children avoid running across the street to catch the bus or running after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop.
• Parents should encourage their child to avoid horseplay while waiting for the bus to keep children and/or their belongings out of the road and away from traffic.
• Teach kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and to never move towards the bus until it has stopped and the driver opens the door.
• Children should avoid the school bus “danger zone” by staying 10 feet away from the front or back end of the bus so that the driver can see them.

During the Bus Ride
• If a child drops something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.
• Children should always use the hand rail when entering the bus.
• Check that drawstrings, backpack straps, scarves and loose clothing cannot get caught on the bus handrail, door or the seats.
• Parents should teach children to never push or shove other students.
• All children can help prevent falls on the bus by keeping the aisles clear of backpacks or books that can trip someone or block the way to the emergency exit.
• Children should remain seated, facing forward at all times during the bus ride.
• Shouting should be avoided to avoid unnecessarily distracting the bus driver.
• Parents should discuss the importance of never throwing any objects into, out of, or inside the bus.

After the Bus Ride
• Children should never leave their seat until the bus makes a complete stop.
• Remind kids to use handrails when exiting the bus.
• If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe.
• The child should not talk to strangers when walking to and from bus stop.
• Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.

About Cincinnati Children’s
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties, including a #1 ranking in pulmonology and #2 in cancer and in nephrology. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.