Evaluation of reaction time in children with sickle cell anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a chronic disease that can severely affect the ability to process information quickly. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reaction time in children with sickle cell anemia using simple reaction time and choice reaction time tests. A cross-sectional study was performed at the Children's Hospital of Brasília, with patients from the hematology outpatient clinic. The experimental group was composed of 24 sickle cell children and the control group of 22 children not affected by sickle cell anemia. The simple reaction time and choice reaction time were evaluated using equipment developed for this purpose. The results showed a significant deficit in the choice reaction time of children with sickle cell anemia (p= 0.000161). In simple reaction time, the experimental group showed less attention, committing a higher proportion of errors by omission when compared to the control group (p= 0.00678). The lower rate of success in simple reaction time and choice reaction time tests in children with sickle cell anemia may be related to the high incidence of silent cerebral infarction in this population. Another fact that may be associated with high reaction time in patients with sickle cell anemia is the lack of experience and opportunities for motor activities throughout childhood due to the pathology.
KEYWORDS: chronic disease; hemoglobin, sickle; child development; psychomotor performance; brain injuries.
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