This research will help clinicians in advising their color-vision–defective patients regarding their career options.
In Canadian railways, individuals with a color-vision-defect (CVD) may qualify for positions at shorter sighting distance from signal lights. The railway companies' medical units use the CN Lantern (CNLan) test, and there is little information available as to whether clinical color-vision tests (CCVTs) can predict the CNLan results. This study determines the ability of some CCVTs to predict the CNLan performance to assist clinicians in advising their CVD patients regarding career options.
The CNLan viewing distance was varied between 4.6 and 0.57 m using a geometric progression. The CCVTs were the Hardy, Rand, and Rittler; Ishihara; ColorDx pseudoisochromatic plate (PIP); the Rabin Cone Contrast Test; Color Assessment and Diagnosis; Cambridge Color Vision Test; U.S. Air Force Operational Based Vision Assessment Cone Contrast Test; Farnsworth Munsell D15; and ColorDx D15. Fifty-six normal-color-vision and 63 CVD subjects participated in this study.
Failure of either the Farnsworth Munsell D15 or ColorDx D15 essentially guarantees failure on the CNLan at the 4.6-m distance. The agreement values decreased as the viewing distance decreased.
To counsel patients regarding a career as a locomotive engineer, clinicians should have either the Hardy, Rand, and Rittler or ColorDx PIP and a D15 test. For patients applying for a position in the yard, a mild-to-moderate classification CVD on HRR or ColorDx PIP indicates a high probability of passing CNLan.