Evaluating the attention network test and its ability to detect cognitive decline
Master of Arts
SubjectAssessing fitness to drive in senior population
Attention Network Test
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The current study involved an evaluation of the Attention Network Test (ANT) as a neurocognitive tool for assessing fitness to drive in the senior population. The ANT measures three distinct functions of attention: alerting, orienting and executive control. This test has been successfully utilized in a variety of clinical and research settings. Few studies have applied the ANT to driving research and none have examined the psychometric properties of the ANT over multiple time points. The participants in this study were senior drivers from the Candrive study. Overall, the ANT was found to have strong psychometric properties. Specifically, the ANT has good test-retest reliability demonstrated high convergent and divergent validity with other commonly used measures (i.e., MoCA, MMSE, Trails A and B, MVPT-3 and SIMARD-MD). In our sample, only Trails A, the SIMARD-MD and alerting scores showed significant change over time. Although the ANT was not more sensitive to cognitive decline as predicted, the cognitive changes were not redundant with other neurocognitive assessment tools. This high functioning sample of seniors coupled with only three annual measurement points may have limited our ability to detect drastic cognitive decline. Nonetheless, the current study provided valuable insight into the utility of a test of attentional processes, the Attention Network Test.