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Title: Eye blink parameters to indicate drowsiness during naturalistic driving in participants with obstructive sleep apnea: A pilot study.
Austin Authors: Cori, Jennifer M ;Turner, Sophie;Westlake, Justine;Naqvi, Aqsa;Ftouni, Suzanne;Wilkinson, Vanessa E ;Vakulin, Andrew;O'Donoghue, Fergal J ;Howard, Mark E 
Affiliation: Circadian Therapeutics, Oxford, UK
Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
School of Psychological Sciences and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Institute for Breathing and Sleep
Respiratory and Sleep Medicine
Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
NeuroSleep-NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date: 2021
Date: 2021-04-29
Publication information: Sleep health 2021; 7(5): 644-651
Abstract: To determine whether continuous eye blink measures could identify drowsiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) during a week of naturalistic driving. Observational study comparing OSA patients and healthy controls. Regular naturalistic driving across one week. Fifteen untreated moderate to severe OSA patients and 15 age (± 5 years) and sex (female = 6) matched healthy controls. Participants wore an eye blink drowsiness recording device during their regular driving for one week. During regular driving, the duration of time with no ocular movements (quiescence), was elevated in the OSA group by 43% relative to the control group (mean [95% CI] 0.20[0.17, 0.25] vs 0.14[0.12, 0.18] secs, P = .011). During long drives only, the Johns Drowsiness Scale was also elevated and increased by 62% in the OSA group relative to the control group (1.05 [0.76, 1.33] vs 0.65 [0.36, 0.93], P = .0495). Across all drives, critical drowsiness events (defined by a Johns Drowsiness Scale score ≥2.6) were twice as frequent in the OSA group than the control group (rate ratio [95% CI] =1.93 [1.65, 2.25], P ≤ .001). OSA patients were drowsier than healthy controls according to some of the continuous real time eye blink drowsiness measures. The findings of this pilot study suggest that there is potential for eye blink measures to be utilized to assess fitness to drive in OSA patients. Future work should assess larger samples, as well as the relationship of eye blink measures to conventional fitness to drive assessments and crash risk.
DOI: 10.1016/j.sleh.2021.01.009
Journal: Sleep Health
PubMed URL: 33935013
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Alertness
Sleep disordered breathing
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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