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Segmiller, Felix M.; Buschert, Verena; Laux, Gerd; Nedopil, N.; Palm, Ulrich; Furjanic, Katharina; Zwanzger, Peter; Brunnauer, Alexander (2017): Driving skills in unmedicated first- and recurrent-episode schizophrenic patients. In: European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, Vol. 267, No. 1: pp. 83-88
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Abstract

The present study was designed to examine driving skills according to regulations of the German guidelines for road and traffic safety in unmedicated schizophrenic inpatients. A total of 13 first-episode (FES) and 13 recurrent-episode (RES) schizophrenic inpatients were included in the analysis and compared with a group of 20 healthy controls (HC). Data were collected with the computerised Wiener Testsystem measuring visual perception, reactivity and stress tolerance, concentration and vigilance. Analysis of data indicates that a great proportion (58 %) of schizophrenic patients were impaired in psychomotor functions related to driving skills. FES and RES significantly differed with respect to driving ability with a greater proportion in the FES (38 %) showing severe impairments when compared with RES (25 %). Differences with respect to HC performance were most pronounced in concentration and for the FES additionally in visual perception. Analysis of our data indicates that a great proportion of schizophrenic patients are impaired in psychomotor functions related to driving skills that cannot be attributed to adverse side effects of psychopharmacological treatment. Besides, we cannot confirm a chronical decline of psychomotor functions related to driving skills at least in the early course of schizophrenic illness.