Abstract T P307: Return to Driving Following Stroke
Background: Stroke frequently causes deficits that may impact a person’s ability to drive. Little has been reported about the frequency with which patients return to driving following a stroke or the use of driver evaluation services to determine a patient’s capacity to drive safely.
Objective: To examine the frequency of return to driving post-stroke, self-imposed limitations in driving, and the utilization of evaluative services in the decision to return to driving.
Methods: : The STEP-South Carolina Project surveyed 162 stroke survivors one year after their event, assessing clinical and functional outcomes and patient perceptions of the magnitude of the impact of stroke on their quality of life (“no effect”, “some effect”, or “great effect”). Multivariate analyses (adjusted for NIHSS) were performed to determine the relationship between driving status, the use of evaluative services, self-imposed limitations to driving and the patient’s perceived effect of stroke of the ability to perform valued life activities.
Results: Multivariate analyses showed that 51.2% (83/162) of survey respondents returned to driving following their stroke, with 59% of these (49/83) returning within one month. Only 5.6% of all respondents (9/162) received any formal driving evaluation, though 11% (9/83) of those who had returned to driving had reported their stroke had a great effect on their ability to performed valued life activities. Among those who reported “no effect” on their ability to perform valued life activities and returned to driving, 45.8% (38/83) limited their driving, though it is unclear whether formal evaluation would have supported such a decision.
Conclusion: The resumption of driving following stroke is usually a decision made without formal evaluation. Stroke survivors, including those who self-impose restrictions on their driving, may benefit from formal evaluation before returning to the driver’s seat.
Author Disclosures: S. Ozark: None. A.D. Boan: None. T.N. Turan: None. C. Ellis: None. D.T. Lackland: None. D.L. Bachman: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.