Examination of attention and memory processes of workers exposed to solvent for a long time
PURPOSE: This study was planned to assess the attention and memory-based performances of workers who used solvent as part of their job and therefore who had been exposed to this substance for a long time. METHOD: The participants of the study are 31 workers who were diagnosed with solvent exposure in the occupational diseases polyclinic of Istanbul Occupational Diseases Hospital and who were treated as inpatient treatment. These 31 participants were individuals who worked for at least 1 year in solvent use, and who did not have any physical, neurological, or psychiatric diseases prior to the study. Beside the aforementioned study group, 30 healthy volunteers also participated in the study as the control group. The verbal memory processes test (VMPT), cancellation test (CT) and Stroop test TBAG form (STP) were applied to all participants. FINDINGS: The data revealed no significant difference between the study and control groups in terms of their short-term memory scores based on the VMPT scores of the participants. However, long-term memory scores, learning achievement scores and the highest learning achievement scores of the study group were found to be significantly lower than the control group. Comparing the two groups on CT and its sub-sections, the scores of the study group were found to be significantly higher than the control group. These findings present that the study group needed more time to complete the mentioned test. It was also revealed that the study group particularly completed the fifth sub-section of STP, which focuses on selective attention, in significantly longer amount of time than the control group. CONCLUSION: Long-term solvent exposure affects attention and memory processes negatively. © 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.