Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation vol:17 issue:5 pages:328-336
Background and Purpose: Visual inattention is a major cause of road accidents and is a problem commonly experienced after stroke. This study investigated the effects of two training programs on performance in the Useful Field Of View (UFOV), a validated test of driving-related visual attention skills. Method: Data from 69 first-ever moderately-impaired stroke survivors who participated in a RCT to determine the effects of simulator training on driving after stroke were analyzed. In addition to regular interventions at a rehabilitation center, participants received 15 hours of either simulator-based driving-related training or non-computer-based cognitive training over 5 weeks. Total percentage reduction in UFOV and performances in its divided and selective attention and speed of processing subtests were documented between 6-9 weeks (pre-training), 11-15 weeks (post-training) and at six months post stroke (follow-up). Results: Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) model revealed neither group effects nor significant interaction effects of group with time in the UFOV total score and the three subtests. However, there were significant within group improvements from pre- through post-training to follow-up for all the UFOV parameters. Post-hoc GEE analysis revealed that most improvement in both groups occurred from pre- to post-training. Conclusion: Both training programs significantly improved visual attention skills of moderately impaired stroke survivors after 15 hours of training and retention of benefit lasted up to 6 months after stroke. Neither of the training programs was better than the other.