The impact of total sleep deprivation upon cognitive functioning in firefighters

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Kujawski, Slawomir
Slomko, Joanna
Tafil-Klawe, Malgorzata
Zawadka-Kunikowska, Monika
Szrajda, Justyna
Newton, Julia L
Zalewski, Pawel
Klawe, Jacek J
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2018
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Introduction: Firefighters as a profession are required to maintain high levels of attention for prolonged periods. However, total sleep deprivation (TSD) could influence negatively upon performance, particularly when the task is prolonged and repetitive. Purpose: The aim of this study is to examine the influence of TSD on cognitive functioning in a group of firefighters. Subjects and methods: Sixty volunteers who were active male fire brigade officers were examined with a computerized battery test that consisted of simple reaction time (SRT) (repeated three times), choice reaction time, visual attention test, and delayed matching to sample. Six series of measurements were undertaken over a period of TSD. Results: Performance in the second attempt in SRT test was significantly worse in terms of increased number of errors and, consequently, decreased number of correct responses during TSD. In contrast, the choice reaction time number of correct responses as well as the visual attention test reaction time for all and correct responses significantly improved compared to initial time points. Conclusion: The study has confirmed that subjects committed significantly more errors and, consequently, noted a smaller number of correct responses in the second attempt of SRT test. However, the remaining results showed reversed direction of TSD influence. TSD potentially leads to worse performance in a relatively easy task in a group of firefighters. Errors during repetitive tasks in firefighting routines could potentially translate into catastrophic consequences.

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NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISEASE AND TREATMENT

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14

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© 2018 Kujawski et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

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Clinical sciences

Neurosciences

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