Objective neuropsychological test performance of professional divers reporting a subjective cognitive complaint of forgetfulness or loss of concentration

Claire Louise Taylor, Jennifer Isabel Macdiarmid, John A S Ross, Liesl Marten Osman, Stephen James Watt, Wendy Adie, John Robertson Crawford, A. Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective This study attempted to determine whether the higher prevalence of reported "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" among professional divers can be confirmed using objective neuropsychological tests. Secondary aims were to qualify the functional nature of the complaints and to ascertain whether reduced performance was linked to diving history.

Methods in a case-control study, the neuropsychological test performance of divers complaining of moderate or severe "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" was compared with two age-matched control groups reporting no or slight "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" ("nonforgetful" divers and "nonforgetful" nondivers). The group differences were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of co-variance, followed by canonical discriminant function analysis. Altogether 102 divers with a complaint, 100 nonforgetful divers, and 100 nonforgetful nondivers completed the study.

Results The overall neuropsychological performance differed significantly between the groups [Pillai's trace: F(24,484)=2.04, P=0.003]. Verbal memory (Logical Memory and the California Verbal Learning Test), current intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence), and sustained attention (rapid visual processing) were poorer among the divers with a complaint than among the nonforgetful divers or the nonforgetful nondivers. The tests of memory, but not those of executive function, differentiated the divers with complaints from the two control groups. Mixed gas bounce diving and surface oxygen decompression diving, but not other techniques, were negatively associated with memory performance.

Conclusions A cognitive complaint of divers was confirmed using objective tests of neuropsychological performance. Memory, rather than executive function, was affected at the group level, but only to a mild degree. The relationships between diving experience and neuropsychological test performance were small and only seen with diving techniques used in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • diving
  • memory
  • neuropsychological test
  • decompression illness
  • construction divers
  • offshore oil
  • deficits

Cite this

@article{897c09ded79e45eaaae778c3ddf002c0,
title = "Objective neuropsychological test performance of professional divers reporting a subjective cognitive complaint of forgetfulness or loss of concentration",
abstract = "Objective This study attempted to determine whether the higher prevalence of reported {"}forgetfulness or loss of concentration{"} among professional divers can be confirmed using objective neuropsychological tests. Secondary aims were to qualify the functional nature of the complaints and to ascertain whether reduced performance was linked to diving history.Methods in a case-control study, the neuropsychological test performance of divers complaining of moderate or severe {"}forgetfulness or loss of concentration{"} was compared with two age-matched control groups reporting no or slight {"}forgetfulness or loss of concentration{"} ({"}nonforgetful{"} divers and {"}nonforgetful{"} nondivers). The group differences were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of co-variance, followed by canonical discriminant function analysis. Altogether 102 divers with a complaint, 100 nonforgetful divers, and 100 nonforgetful nondivers completed the study.Results The overall neuropsychological performance differed significantly between the groups [Pillai's trace: F(24,484)=2.04, P=0.003]. Verbal memory (Logical Memory and the California Verbal Learning Test), current intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence), and sustained attention (rapid visual processing) were poorer among the divers with a complaint than among the nonforgetful divers or the nonforgetful nondivers. The tests of memory, but not those of executive function, differentiated the divers with complaints from the two control groups. Mixed gas bounce diving and surface oxygen decompression diving, but not other techniques, were negatively associated with memory performance.Conclusions A cognitive complaint of divers was confirmed using objective tests of neuropsychological performance. Memory, rather than executive function, was affected at the group level, but only to a mild degree. The relationships between diving experience and neuropsychological test performance were small and only seen with diving techniques used in the offshore oil and gas industry.",
keywords = "diving, memory, neuropsychological test, decompression illness, construction divers, offshore oil, deficits",
author = "Taylor, {Claire Louise} and Macdiarmid, {Jennifer Isabel} and Ross, {John A S} and Osman, {Liesl Marten} and Watt, {Stephen James} and Wendy Adie and Crawford, {John Robertson} and A. Lawson",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.5271/sjweh.1015",
language = "English",
volume = "32",
pages = "310--317",
journal = "Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health",
issn = "0355-3140",
publisher = "Finnish Institute of Occupational Health",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Objective neuropsychological test performance of professional divers reporting a subjective cognitive complaint of forgetfulness or loss of concentration

AU - Taylor, Claire Louise

AU - Macdiarmid, Jennifer Isabel

AU - Ross, John A S

AU - Osman, Liesl Marten

AU - Watt, Stephen James

AU - Adie, Wendy

AU - Crawford, John Robertson

AU - Lawson, A.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Objective This study attempted to determine whether the higher prevalence of reported "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" among professional divers can be confirmed using objective neuropsychological tests. Secondary aims were to qualify the functional nature of the complaints and to ascertain whether reduced performance was linked to diving history.Methods in a case-control study, the neuropsychological test performance of divers complaining of moderate or severe "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" was compared with two age-matched control groups reporting no or slight "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" ("nonforgetful" divers and "nonforgetful" nondivers). The group differences were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of co-variance, followed by canonical discriminant function analysis. Altogether 102 divers with a complaint, 100 nonforgetful divers, and 100 nonforgetful nondivers completed the study.Results The overall neuropsychological performance differed significantly between the groups [Pillai's trace: F(24,484)=2.04, P=0.003]. Verbal memory (Logical Memory and the California Verbal Learning Test), current intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence), and sustained attention (rapid visual processing) were poorer among the divers with a complaint than among the nonforgetful divers or the nonforgetful nondivers. The tests of memory, but not those of executive function, differentiated the divers with complaints from the two control groups. Mixed gas bounce diving and surface oxygen decompression diving, but not other techniques, were negatively associated with memory performance.Conclusions A cognitive complaint of divers was confirmed using objective tests of neuropsychological performance. Memory, rather than executive function, was affected at the group level, but only to a mild degree. The relationships between diving experience and neuropsychological test performance were small and only seen with diving techniques used in the offshore oil and gas industry.

AB - Objective This study attempted to determine whether the higher prevalence of reported "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" among professional divers can be confirmed using objective neuropsychological tests. Secondary aims were to qualify the functional nature of the complaints and to ascertain whether reduced performance was linked to diving history.Methods in a case-control study, the neuropsychological test performance of divers complaining of moderate or severe "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" was compared with two age-matched control groups reporting no or slight "forgetfulness or loss of concentration" ("nonforgetful" divers and "nonforgetful" nondivers). The group differences were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of co-variance, followed by canonical discriminant function analysis. Altogether 102 divers with a complaint, 100 nonforgetful divers, and 100 nonforgetful nondivers completed the study.Results The overall neuropsychological performance differed significantly between the groups [Pillai's trace: F(24,484)=2.04, P=0.003]. Verbal memory (Logical Memory and the California Verbal Learning Test), current intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence), and sustained attention (rapid visual processing) were poorer among the divers with a complaint than among the nonforgetful divers or the nonforgetful nondivers. The tests of memory, but not those of executive function, differentiated the divers with complaints from the two control groups. Mixed gas bounce diving and surface oxygen decompression diving, but not other techniques, were negatively associated with memory performance.Conclusions A cognitive complaint of divers was confirmed using objective tests of neuropsychological performance. Memory, rather than executive function, was affected at the group level, but only to a mild degree. The relationships between diving experience and neuropsychological test performance were small and only seen with diving techniques used in the offshore oil and gas industry.

KW - diving

KW - memory

KW - neuropsychological test

KW - decompression illness

KW - construction divers

KW - offshore oil

KW - deficits

U2 - 10.5271/sjweh.1015

DO - 10.5271/sjweh.1015

M3 - Article

VL - 32

SP - 310

EP - 317

JO - Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

JF - Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health

SN - 0355-3140

IS - 4

ER -