240657 Vision care providers' perspectives on inquiring about driving in older adults

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:48 AM

Rebecca Leinberger, MPH , Health Behavior Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Nancy Janz, PhD , Health Behavior Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Leslie Niziol, MS , Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Brenda W. Gillespie Gillespie, PhD , Center for Statistical Consultation and Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
David Musch, PhD , Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Purpose: Despite the relationship between vision, aging and driving, there is a dearth of research investigating the attitudes and challenges faced by vision care providers (VCPs) regarding advising their patients about driving. Methods: We surveyed VCPs' attitudes and behaviors regarding inquiring about driving in their older patients. Membership lists of the Michigan Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and the Michigan Optometric Association were used to identify a stratified random sample of 500 VCPs (response rate 81%, n=404). Regression analyses were performed to identify associations with responses. Results: While over 80% of VCPs reported feeling confident in their ability to determine whether vision is adequate for safe driving, less than 40% believe VCPs are the most qualified professionals to identify unsafe drivers. The majority of VCPs (64%) report they routinely inquire about driving and consider counseling patients about driving one of their responsibilities. Approximately 57% were concerned that reporting patients would negatively impact the doctor-patient relationship and 43% think reporting is a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality. Roughly one third (34%) considered loss of their patient's quality of life a barrier to assessment. Resources that VCPs reported would be helpful include driving assessment guidelines (81%), clinical screening instruments (70%), and a patient self-evaluation tool (60%). VCP characteristics that increased the likelihood of seeking driving information included female gender, younger age, and general practice (vs. specialization). Conclusions: While VCPs view driving assessment as an important responsibility, addressing barriers and providing useful resources deserves further attention.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe vision care providers' common attitudes and perceived barriers to conducting driving assessments with their older adult patients. 2. List one provider-related and one patient-related driving assessment resource that vision care providers would find helpful in their practice.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Research Area Specialist and Project Manager of the current study and I have collaborated with the research team on survey design and administration, analysis of findings and interpretation results, and manuscript preparation.
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.