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Efficacy of Armodafinil for Maintaining Vigilance Among Navy Air Traffic Controllers Eight to Twelve

Efficacy of Armodafinil for Maintaining Vigilance Among Navy Air Traffic Controllers Eight to Twelve

  1. DecoyPencil
    Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab Pensacola FL 12 APR 2009

    Jeffrey B. Phillips, Rita G. Simmons, Melissa Strompolis, Richard D. Arnold

    This study is designed to measure the efficacy of armodafinil as a fatigue countermeasure during military air traffic control (ATC) operations. ATC operations require extended periods of sustained attention without room for error. Military ATC crews accommodate shift schedules unique to demands of military operations which often exceed FAA regulations. Armodafinil, a slow-release form of modafinil, improves wakefulness and alertness without affecting normal sleep patterns making it an ideal fatigue counteragent for military ATC operations. Methods: Forty-eight US Navy and Marine Corps ATC students participated. Subjects were assigned to a treatment (150 mg armodafinil) or placebo condition (identical nonactive pills). Double-blinding was used to prevent demand characteristics. Subjects reported at 0800 for dosing, followed by their normal work day (0800-1530). Subjects reported at 1600 for the performance portion of the study. Subjects performed 3 successive 10-minute blocks of the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) once an hour for 4 hours. Subjects completed questionnaires every thirty minutes including: a symptom profile to document adverse events, the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) to measure fatigue, the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) to assess subjective sleepiness, and the Global Rating Questionnaire (GRQ) to measure subjective cognitive workload. Results: Analysis of PVT data showed that participants assigned to the treatment condition experienced significantly fewer lapses of attention than participants assigned to the placebo condition f (11,26) = 2.64, p < .05, ?2 = .53. No significant effects were detected for the subjective measures of fatigue, sleepiness, or workload. Conclusion: A single dose of armodafinil (150mg) appears to significantly reduce the number of attention lapses experienced by participants eleven hours post-dose.