Psychomotor vigilance testing (PVT) rapidly assesses attention, reaction time (RT), and abnormal vigilance. Thus, PVT may be an adjunct to screening drivers for high-risk obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)/excess daytime sleepiness (EDS).
Commercial drivers and emergency responders undergoing occupational examinations took a 10-minute PVT and were instructed to achieve their fastest possible RTs. Participants with maximum RT >5 seconds or ≥2 “super lapses” (RT ≥1000 ms) were categorized as “microsleepers.”
Among 193 male participants, the 15 microsleepers (8%) were significantly more obese, but not different on age or Epworth Sleepiness Score. Time of day had no effect on RT.
PVT is suitable to occupational clinics and can identify otherwise unrecognized, impaired vigilance. Further studies must validate the PVT abnormalities most predictive of OSA/EDS and vehicular crashes, compared to adiposity measures alone.
From the Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine (Drs Zhang and Malhotra), Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass; Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology (Drs Zhang, Varvarigou, and Kales), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass; Department of Medicine (Drs Varvarigou, Parks, and Kales), Occupational Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Dr Gautam), Boston, Mass; and Universidad Autonoma (Dr Bueno), Madrid, Spain.
Address correspondence to: Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, The Cambridge Health Alliance, Employee & Industrial Medicine, 1493 Cambridge Street, Macht Building, Suite 427, Cambridge, MA 02139; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.