Author(s): Kelly R, Warke T, Steele I
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Abstract The study was set up to investigate the awareness of elderly patients and medical doctors of medical restrictions to driving. Separate questionnaires were completed by patients and doctors. All were interviewed face-to-face, without prior warning and their immediate answers were recorded. In total, 150 elderly patients from the acute elderly care wards, rehabilitation wards and day hospital, and 50 doctors (including all grades from consultant to junior house officer) were interviewed. The main outcome measures were numbers of patients currently driving and previously driving; patients' awareness of how their medical condition affected their ability to drive; doctors' spontaneous knowledge of medical conditions which restrict driving, current licensing policy, and restrictions for five specific medical conditions (epilepsy, myocardial infarction, stroke, 5-cm abdominal aortic aneurysm, and diabetes). Only 21 patients were current drivers, and six of these should not have been driving. While 103 perceived themselves eligible to drive, 46 had medical restrictions to driving. Seventeen of the 47 patients who perceived themselves not eligible to drive possibly did not have restrictions to driving. Doctors' knowledge of the current licensing policy and action to be taken if a patient was not eligible to drive was very poor. Knowledge of medical restrictions to driving was scanty, with few doctors giving the correct driving restrictions for the five specific conditions. We recommend that education of doctors regarding medical restrictions to driving should begin at an undergraduate level and be continued throughout their postgraduate career.
This article was published in Postgrad Med J
and referenced in Advances in Automobile Engineering