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Kevin E. Houston, Eli Peli, Robert B. Goldstein, Alex R. Bowers; Driving With Hemianopia VI: Peripheral Prisms and Perceptual-Motor Training Improve Detection in a Driving Simulator. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(1):5. doi: 10.1167/tvst.7.1.5.
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Drivers with homonymous hemianopia (HH) were previously found to have impaired detection of blind-side hazards, yet in many jurisdictions they may obtain a license. We evaluated whether oblique 57Δ peripheral prisms (p-prisms) and perceptual-motor training improved blind-side detection rates.
Patients with HH (n = 11) wore p-prisms for 2 weeks and then received perceptual-motor training (six visits) detecting and touching stimuli in the prism-expanded vision. In a driving simulator, patients drove and pressed the horn upon detection of pedestrians who ran toward the roadway (26 from each side): (1) without p-prisms at baseline; (2) with p-prisms after 2 weeks acclimation but before training; (3) with p-prisms after training; and (4) 3 months later.
P-prisms improved blind-side detection from 42% to 56%, which further improved after training to 72% (all P < 0.001). Blind-side timely responses (adequate time to have stopped) improved from 31% without to 44% with p-prisms (P < 0.001) and further improved with training to 55% (P = 0.02). At the 3-month follow-up, improvements from training were maintained for detection (65%; P = 0.02) but not timely responses (P = 0.725). There was wide between-subject variability in baseline detection performance and response to p-prisms. There were no negative effects of p-prisms on vehicle control or seeing-side performance.
P-prisms improved detection with no negative effects, and training may provide additional benefit.
In jurisdictions where people with HH are legally driving, these data aid in clinical decision making by providing evidence that p-prisms improve performance without negative effects.
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