178686 Translating research into community practice: The Driver Evaluation and Training Program

Monday, October 27, 2008: 3:15 PM

Marjorie A. Getz, MA, MPHIL , Center for Learning Assistance, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
M. Barbara Campbell , Marketing Department, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Peoria, IL
Surbhi Sachdav, student , Department of Psychology, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
Jan VanNess, OT , Occupational Therapy, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Peoria, IL
The vast majority of older adults in this country live independently. USDOT estimates suggest that roughly 80% of all trips made by these community living elderly to access work places, community services and leisure activities are made in private automobiles. Currently, it is estimated that more than 20 million older drivers are on the road. However, those over 60 years of age account for 13% of all traffic fatalities and 17% of all pedestrian fatalities. Clearly sensitive driver evaluation programs for this age group are needed. This study represents a program description and summary data collected on older adult participants in a comprehensive driver evaluation and training program located in Central Illinois. Components of the program include vision screening, passive/active range of motion, manual muscle testing, reaction time measurement, functional cognitive testing, drive preparation skills, visual/perceptual and decision-making skills. The most recent program data (2006-2007) showed that 165 persons over the age of 60 were tested. Of these individuals, 21% passed the assessment, 65% failed and 14% were given a chance for second testing. Those who did not pass were more likely to have suffered stroke or cognitive impairment than the other groups. This presentation will provide summary data from the more than 10 years of program operation including profiles of those older adults suffering from significant co-morbidities who were able to maintain a valid driver's permit. This innovative program provides a successful example of application of human factors research to solve a significant community health problem.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will understand the evidence-based research on driver safety in older adults. 2. Participants will understand how to develop a comprehensive assessment program to assess older driver competence. 3. Participants will learn about the impact of chronic diseases on driving abilities.

Keywords: Elderly, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist/psychologist who has a clinical practice in gerontology and I conceptualized this project evaluation, collected the data and analyzed it.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.