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Pilot Feasibility Study Examining Pupillary Response During Driving Simulation as a Measure of Cognitive Load in Breast Cancer Survivors

Jamie S. Myers
Nesreen Alissa
Melissa Mitchell
Junqiang Dai
Jianghua He
Sanghee Moon
Anne O’Dea
Jennifer Klemp
Monica Kurylo
Abiodun Akinwuntan
Hannes Devos
ONF 2020, 47(2), 203-212 DOI: 10.1188/20.ONF.203-212

Objectives: To test the feasibility of adding driving simulation tasks to measure visuospatial ability and processing speed to an existing neurocognitive battery for breast cancer survivors (BCSs).

Sample & Setting: 38 BCSs and 17 healthy controls from a cross-sectional pilot study conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Methods & Variables: Exploratory substudy measuring pupillary response, visuospatial ability, and processing speed during two 10-minute driving simulations (with or without n-back testing) in a sample of BCSs with self-reported cognitive complaints and healthy controls.

Results: Feasibility of measurement of pupillary response during driving simulation was demonstrated. No between-group differences were noted for pupillary response during driving simulation. BCSs had greater visuospatial ability and processing speed performance difficulties than healthy controls during driving simulation without n-back testing and slower n-back response time.

Implications for Nursing: Preliminary evidence showed a possible link between cancer/treatment on visuospatial ability and processing speed in BCSs.

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