Retrospective cohort study of accident outcomes for individuals who have successfully undergone driver assessment following stroke

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 2012, 59 (1), pp. 56 - 62
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Background: The occupational role of 'driver' is highly valued. Stroke can have a significant impact on an individual's ability to drive safely. Multi-disciplinary driver assessments are conducted to assess the safety of post-stroke individuals returning to driving, however, little follow-up of drivers following successful assessment has been performed. Aim: The objective of this study was to investigate whether passing a multi-disciplinary driving assessment following stroke predicted medium- to long-term safe and confident driving. Methods: A retrospective cohort study with primary data collection through structured telephone interviews was undertaken. Respondents were individuals post-stroke aged 18-74years who had successfully passed a multi-disciplinary driver assessment. Results: Forty-five respondents were interviewed an average of 20months following the assessment. Forty individuals were still driving. Twenty-five driving respondents reported driving in conditions that indicated confident driving. Confident driving was measured by driving frequency and distance, night driving, freeway driving and driving alone. The frequency of accidents and incidents suggests that 95% (n=38) of drivers are 'safe'. Eight respondents reported accidents, one of which was major. In two accidents the respondent was 'at fault'. A crash rate of 222 per 100,000 drivers is within the confidence interval for similar accidents in New South Wales. Conclusions: The results of this small cohort study suggest that a multi-disciplinary driver assessment may be effective in identifying people following stroke with the ability to drive safely and confidently. © 2011 The Authors. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal © 2011 Occupational Therapy Australia.
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