Sustained attention following traumatic brain injury: use of the Psychomotor Vigilance Task

Kelly Sinclair, Jennie Louise Ponsford, Shanthakumar M W Rajaratnam, Clare Anderson

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The primary aim of the current study was to examine the usefulness of the auditory PVT in identifying attentional difficulties in patients with TBI compared with noninjured controls, and also to explore the impact of fatigue, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness on sustained attention performances. Method: Participants (n = 20 per group) completed the auditory PVT and self-report measures of fatigue, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and depression. Results: Compared to controls, patients with TBI had widespread PVT deficits including slower response times, increased response variability and attention lapses, and delayed responding in the slowest 10 of responses. Distribution analyses suggested this was likely due to generalized cognitive slowing. Self-reported secondary factors had varying impacts on aspects of PVT performance, with self-reported fatigue exhibiting a more global impact on attention performance. Conclusions: The auditory PVT is a sensitive measure of sustained attention deficits in patients with TBI, with aspects of performance influenced by fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210 - 224
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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