Research Article  |   November 2014
Occupational Therapy Interventions to Improve Driving Performance in Older Adults: A Systematic Review
Author Affiliations
  • Kathleen Golisz, OTD, OTR, is Professor and Associate Dean, School of Health and Natural Sciences, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522; kgolisz@mercy.edu
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Evidence-Based Practice / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Health and Wellness
Research Article   |   November 2014
Occupational Therapy Interventions to Improve Driving Performance in Older Adults: A Systematic Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2014, Vol. 68, 662-669. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011247
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2014, Vol. 68, 662-669. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011247
Abstract

This systematic review synthesizes the research on interventions used by occupational therapy practitioners to address cognitive and visual function, motor function, driving skills, self-regulation and self-awareness, and the role of passengers and family involvement in the driving ability, performance, and safety of older adults. After a comprehensive search of the research literature, 29 studies were reviewed and synthesized into five themes: (1) educational interventions including family education, (2) cognitive–perceptual training, (3) interventions addressing physical fitness, (4) simulator training, and (5) behind-the-wheel training. Outcome measures used in the studies included changes in knowledge through speed of processing, physical and cognitive skills predicted to reduce crash risk, simulated driving, and real-world driving. The studies demonstrated low to moderate positive effects for interventions used by occupational therapy practitioners to improve older driver performance.