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Volume 15 No. 09
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Accepted Papers





Scientific Investigations

Eye-Blink Parameters Detect On-Road Track-Driving Impairment Following Severe Sleep Deprivation

Shamsi Shekari Soleimanloo, PhD1,2; Vanessa E. Wilkinson, PhD1; Jennifer M. Cori, PhD1; Justine Westlake, BA/BAppSci (Hons)1; Bronwyn Stevens, GradDipProfPsych1; Luke A. Downey, PhD1,4; Brook A. Shiferaw, BSc (Hon)1; Shantha M. W. Rajaratnam, PhD2; Mark E. Howard, PhD1,2,3
1Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Austin Health, Australia; 2School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Australia; 3Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Australia; 4Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia

Study Objectives:

Drowsiness leads to 20% of fatal road crashes, while inability to assess drowsiness has hampered drowsiness interventions. This study examined the accuracy of eye-blink parameters for detecting drowsiness related driving impairment in real time.

Methods:

Twelve participants undertook two sessions of 2-hour track-driving in an instrumented vehicle following a normal night’s sleep or 32 to 34 hours of extended wake in a randomized crossover design. Eye-blink parameters and lane excursion events were monitored continuously.

Results:

Sleep deprivation increased the rates of out-of-lane driving events and early drive terminations. Episodes of prolonged eyelid closures, blink duration, the ratio of amplitude to velocity of eyelid closure, and John’s Drowsiness Score (JDS, a composite score) were also increased following sleep deprivation. A time-on-task (drive duration) effect was evident for out-of-lane events rate and most eye-blink parameters after sleep deprivation. The JDS demonstrated the strongest association with the odds of out-of-lane events in the same minute, whereas measures of blink duration and prolonged eye closure were stronger indicators of risk for out-of-lane events over longer periods of 5 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. Eye-blink parameters also achieved moderate accuracies (specificities from 70.12% to 84.15% at a sensitivity of 50%) for detecting out-of-lane events in the same minute, with stronger associations over longer timeframes of 5 minutes to 15 minutes.

Conclusions:

Eyelid closure parameters are useful tools for monitoring and predicting drowsiness-related driving impairment (out-of-lane events) that could be utilized for monitoring drowsiness and assessing the efficacy of drowsiness interventions.

Clinical Trial Registration:

This study is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANCTR), http://www.anzctr.org.au/TrialSearch.aspx ACTRN12612000102875.

Citation:

Shekari Soleimanloo S, Wilkinson VE, Cori JM,Westlake J, Stevens B, Downey LA, Shiferaw BA, Rajaratnam SMW, Howard ME. Eye-blink parameters detect on-road track-driving impairment following severe sleep deprivation. J Clin Sleep Med. 2019;15(9):1271–1284.


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