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Research Article  |   September 2007
Using Social Judgment Theory to Study Occupational Therapists’ Use of Information When Making Driver Licensing Recommendations for Older and Functionally Impaired Adults
Author Affiliations
  • Carolyn A. Unsworth, BAppSci(OccTher), PhD, OTR, AccOT, is Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy, La Trobe University, Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora, Victoria 3086 Australia; c.unsworth@latrobe.edu.au
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
Research Article   |   September 2007
Using Social Judgment Theory to Study Occupational Therapists’ Use of Information When Making Driver Licensing Recommendations for Older and Functionally Impaired Adults
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2007, Vol. 61, 493-502. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.5.493
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2007, Vol. 61, 493-502. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.5.493
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study sought to identify the informational cues that driver-assessor-trained occupational therapists (DATOTs) consider when making driver licensing recommendations for older and functionally impaired clients. Relatively little research supports these complex decisions.

METHOD. A survey using a social judgment theory framework was mailed to all practicing registered DATOTs in Victoria, Australia.

RESULTS. Cue mean rank order, as calculated across the 56 responses (return rate, 78%), revealed that the four most important cues were driving instructor interventions, driver behavior, cognitive and perceptual skills, and vehicle handling skills. Substantial individual variations in cue ranks were not attributable to respondents’ years of experience.

CONCLUSION. Because driver licensing recommendations may have a major impact on clients’ lives, debate and further study concerning information use are needed to assist DATOTs in making consistent and optimal licensing recommendations to ensure the safety of all road users and avoid when possible the negative consequences of license loss.