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Research Article  |   August 1990
An Assessment of Measures to Predict the Outcome of Driving Evaluations in Patients With Cerebral Damage
Author Affiliations
  • Thomas Galski, PhD, is Director, Department of Psychology, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Inc., 240 Central Avenue, East Orange, New Jersey 07018. He is also Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
  • Holly T. Ehle, OTR, is Associate Director, Department of Occupational Therapy, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Inc., East Orange, New Jersey
  • Richard L. Bruno, PhD, is a Psychologist, Department of Psychology, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Inc., East Orange, New Jersey, and Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey
Article Information
Research
Research Article   |   August 1990
An Assessment of Measures to Predict the Outcome of Driving Evaluations in Patients With Cerebral Damage
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1990, Vol. 44, 709-713. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.8.709
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1990, Vol. 44, 709-713. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.8.709
Abstract

The evaluation of the ability of patients to return to driving after cerebral damage stands out as one of the most important tasks confronted by rehabilitation professionals. The present study was designed to critically assess evaluations that were developed at one facility to determine fitness to drive: an off-road, predriver evaluation of skills regarded as important in driving and an on-road, behind-the-wheel evaluation of abilities needed to drive in actual traffic situations. The evaluation results of 37 patients with cerebral damage due to traumatic head injury or cerebrovascular accident were studied retrospectively. Only 4 out of 21 items on the predriver evaluation significantly predicted the outcome of the predriver evaluation and none of the predriver evaluation items predicted the outcome of the behind-the-wheel evaluation. Only 6 of the 26 tasks on the behind-the-wheel evaluation significantly predicted the outcome of the behind-the-wheel evaluation. None of the items on the predriver evaluation or the behind-the-wheel evaluation explained a significant portion of variance related to outcome. The lack of internal and predictive validity of driver evaluations is discussed in light of these findings, and recommendations are given for improving the predictive power of driving evaluations.