[abstract] META ANALYSIS OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING AND DIVING

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[abstract] META ANALYSIS OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING AND DIVING

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Title: [abstract] META ANALYSIS OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING AND DIVING
Author: Melton, JL; O'Connor, PE
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Changes in cognitive functioning and behavior have been well documented in the diving community during compressed air diving when the verified changes occur during (i.e. cerebral decompression sickness). This meta-analysis synthesized the neuropsychological literature pertaining to diving and estimated the differences found in the research between different diving populations. METHODS: Fourteen studies were identified for inclusion, and four of these studies having multiple comparisons for inclusion (18 total effect sizes). Neuropsychological measures were organized into broad domains of functioning: Attention, Intelligence, Language, Memory, Executive Functioning and Motor/Sensory. Studies were divided into five categories: divers vs. control, impaired vs. non-impaired, diver vs. diver control, pre-post dive, and impaired.RESULTS: Divers that have a history of decompression sickness perform significantly worse on neuropsychological evaluations than divers without a history of cerebral decompression sickness (Z = 22.35, p greater than .01). Neuropsychological impairment for this sample seemed to occur in all domains suggesting significant global cognitive deficits. The impaired dive category demonstrated significant effect size changes (Z = 2.22, p = .03) that associates significant improvement in neuropsychological functioning for individuals following treatments. However, the divers vs non-diver comparison demonstrated a positive effect size suggesting that overall, the neuropsychological functioning of divers was greater than those of the selected control groups (Z = -2.95, p greater than .01). Though overall effect size was significant following treatment, the primary domains that demonstrated a significant effect sizes denoting change within that domain were attention and motor functioning. CONCLUSIONS: This synthesis of the literature supports the common belief that significant cerebral incidents during diving may impact the long-term cognitive capacity of divers, even when the control group is a closely matched population of non-injured divers. Nevertheless, the paucity of neuropsychological evidence in the literature was revealed and the exact nature of deficits have not been fully explored.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/3744
Date: 2006

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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