Faculty Articles

Useful Field of View as a Reliable Screening Measure of Driving Performance in People With Parkinson's Disease: Results of a Pilot Study

Sherrilene Classen, Nova Southeastern University
Dennis McCarthy, Nova Southeastern University
O. Shechtman
K. D. Awadzi
Desiree N. Lanford
M. S. Okun
R. L. Rodriguez
J. Romrell
S. Bridges
B. Kluger
H. H. Fernandez


Purpose: To determine the correlations of the Useful Field of View (UFOV), compared to other clinical tests of Parkinson's disease (PD); vision; and cognition with measures of on-road driving assessments and to quantify the UFOV's ability to indicate passing/failing an on-road test in people with PD.

Methods: Nineteen randomly selected people with idiopathic PD, mean age = 74.8 (6.1), 14 (73.7%) men, 18 (94.7%) Caucasians, were age-matched to 104 controls without PD. The controls had a mean age of 75.4 (6.4), 59 (56.7%) men, 96 (92.3%) Caucasians. Both groups were referred for a driving evaluation after institutional review board approval.

Results: Compared to neuropsychological and clinical tests of vision and cognition, the UFOV showed the strongest correlations (r > .75, p < 0.05) with measures of failing a standardized road test and number of driving errors. Among PD patients, the UFOV Risk Index score of 3 (range 1–5) was established as the optimal cutoff value for passing the on-road test, with sensitivity 87 percent and specificity 82 percent, AUC = 92 percent (SE 0.61, p = .002). Similarly, the UFOV 2 (divided attention) optimum cutoff value is 223 ms (range 16–500 ms), sensitivity 87.5 percent, specificity 81.8 percent, AUC = 91 percent (SE 0.73, p = .003). The UFOV 3 (selected attention) optimal cutoff value is 273 ms (range 16–500 ms), sensitivity 75 percent, specificity 72.7 percent, AUC = 87 percent (SE 0.81, p = .007).

Conclusion: In this pilot study among PD patients, the UFOV may be a superior screening measure (compared to other measures of disease, cognition, and vision) for predicting on-road driving performance but its rigor must be verified in a larger sample of people with PD.