Research Article  |   July 2014
Postdeployment Driving Stress and Related Occupational Limitations Among Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
Author Affiliations
  • Eric J. Hwang, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health, Human Services and Nursing, California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1000 East Victoria Street, Carson, CA 90630; ehwang@csudh.edu
  • Claudia G. Peyton, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health, Human Services and Nursing, California State University–Dominguez Hills, Carson
  • David K. Kim, MS, OTR/L, is Clinical Specialist, Bioness, Valencia, CA
  • Kristine K. Nakama-Sato, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist I, University of California–Irvine Medical Center, Orange
  • Amy E. Noble, MS, OTR/L, is Pediatric Occupational Therapist in Early Intervention, Service Provider for Harbor Regional Center, Torrance, CA
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Military Rehabilitation / Special Issue: Occupational Therapy Research With Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families
Research Article   |   July 2014
Postdeployment Driving Stress and Related Occupational Limitations Among Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2014, Vol. 68, 386-394. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011668
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2014, Vol. 68, 386-394. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011668
Abstract

Difficulty in driving after deployment has emerged as an impediment for servicemembers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF–OEF). This study explored postdeployment driving stress and related occupational limitations using two self-report instruments: the Driver’s Stress Profile and the Driving and Occupational Limitations questionnaire. Data gathered from 103 OIF–OEF returnees confirmed that driving and related occupational issues occur postdeployment. Significant low to moderate correlations were found between postdeployment driving stress and limitations in community mobility, leisure, and social participation. The returnees who drove off base more frequently during deployment showed significantly higher levels of postdeployment driving stress than the returnees who drove off base less frequently. Moreover, the returnees who demonstrated higher levels of driving stress and occupational limitations required more time to resume normal driving postdeployment. Findings raise awareness about the need to design effective driver rehabilitation and community reintegration programs for this population.