Sherrilene Classen, Miriam Monahan, Maria Canonizado, Sandra Winter; Utility of an Occupational Therapy Driving Intervention for a Combat Veteran. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(4):405–411. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.010041
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
Many combat veterans are injured in motor vehicle crashes shortly after returning to civilian life, yet little evidence exists on effective driving interventions. In this single-subject design study, we compared clinical test results and driving errors in a returning combat veteran before and after an occupational therapy driving intervention. A certified driving rehabilitation specialist administered baseline clinical and simulated driving assessments; conducted three intervention sessions that discussed driving errors, retrained visual search skills, and invited commentary on driving; and administered a postintervention evaluation in conditions resembling those at baseline. Clinical test results were similar pre- and postintervention. Baseline versus postintervention driving errors were as follows: lane maintenance, 23 versus 7; vehicle positioning, 5 versus 1; signaling, 2 versus 0; speed regulation, 1 versus 1; visual scanning, 1 versus 0; and gap acceptance, 1 versus 0. Although the intervention appeared efficacious for this participant, threats to validity must be recognized and controlled for in a follow-up study.
A combat veteran reduced the number and types of driving errors made on a driving simulator after an occupational therapy driving intervention that included discussion of driving errors, retraining in visual search skills, and commentary on driving.
The intervention potentially improved the selective attention of the combat veteran, but this finding needs further validation.
A high-fidelity driving simulator can be used as an assessment tool to identify driving errors and as a treatment tool to remediate driving errors for combat veterans.
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