Anne E. Dickerson; Driving Assessment Tools Used by Driver Rehabilitation Specialists: Survey of Use and Implications for Practice. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(5):564–573. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2013.007823
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OBJECTIVE. This article describes the use of assessment tools by North American driver rehabilitation specialists (DRSs).
PARTICIPANTS. Participants were 227 self-identified DRSs from the combined databases of two national associations.
MEASURES. Information was solicited through a self-administered survey about the driving evaluation process, assessment tools, and process for making fitness-to-drive recommendations.
RESULTS. More than 80% of the DRSs reported testing visual acuity, range of motion, muscle strength, and fine motor coordination. The most consistently used cognitive–perceptual tests were the Trail Making Tests, Motor-Free Visual Perception Test–Revised, and short cognitive screening tests. A client’s behind-the-wheel performance was the main factor in making a fitness-to-drive recommendation. Few specialists are using computer-based tests or interactive driving simulators.
CONCLUSION. Although use of the Useful Field of View® has increased, there continues to be no consistency in cognitive assessments or guidelines for behind-the-wheel assessment. Implications for practice are discussed.
Guidelines for BTW assessments need to be developed, as do guidelines and evidence for which assessments are most appropriate for specific diagnoses.
Continued work is needed to find the appropriate place for driving simulation and ensure that practitioners are trained to use this highly technical piece of equipment, especially because of the significant side effect of simulator sickness, which occurs frequently with older adults.
Research findings need to be clarified and the work translated to practice to find what is economically efficient for driver screening versus assessment.
Finally, the exploration of partnering general practice occupational therapists and specialists to provide more effective, efficient, and client-centered driving rehabilitation assessment and services is essential.
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