Research Article  |   November 2014
Assessment Tools Predicting Fitness to Drive in Older Adults: A Systematic Review
Author Affiliations
  • Anne E. Dickerson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, East Carolina University, 3305 Health Sciences Building, Greenville, NC 27858; dickersona@ecu.edu
  • Danielle Brown Meuel, MS, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, Alta Bates Medical Center, Berkeley, CA
  • Cyrus David Ridenour, MS, OTR, is Acute Care Therapist, Trinity Mother Francis Hospital, Tyler, TX
  • Kristen Cooper, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, Nashville, TN
Article Information
Community Mobility and Driving / Evidence-Based Practice / Geriatrics/Productive Aging
Research Article   |   November 2014
Assessment Tools Predicting Fitness to Drive in Older Adults: A Systematic Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2014, Vol. 68, 670-680. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011833
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2014, Vol. 68, 670-680. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.011833
Abstract

This systematic review synthesizes the research on screening and assessment tools used to determine older adults’ fitness to drive. After a comprehensive search of the literature targeting tools commonly used by occupational therapists, 64 studies were reviewed and synthesized. The evidence demonstrated that a single tool measuring cognition, vision, perception, or physical ability individually is not sufficient to determine fitness to drive. Although some tools have stronger evidence than others, this review supports using different and focused assessment tools together for specific medical conditions. Results indicate that behind-the-wheel assessment remains the gold standard for driving evaluation; however, emerging evidence for observation of complex instrumental tasks of daily living and driving simulation supports further investigation with these tools.