Research driving ability: when to stop driving

Background: These researchers previously reported that performance on the Stroke Driver Screening
Assessment (SDSA), a battery of four cognitive tests that takes less
than 30 min to administer, predicted the driving performance of
MSers on a road test with 86%
accuracy, 80% sensitivity, and 88% specificity.

Objectives: In
this study, they further investigated if the addition of driving-related
physical and visual tests and other previously identified cognitive
predictors, including performance on the Useful Field of View test, will
result in a better accuracy of predicting participants’ on-road driving

Methods: Forty-four
individuals with RRMS (age = 46 ± 11 years, 37
females) and Expanded Disability Status Scale values between 1 (mild impairment) and 7 (wheelchair) were administered selected physical, visual and cognitive tests
including the SDSA. The model that explained the highest variance of
participants’ performance on a standardized road test was identified
using multiple regression analysis. A discriminant equation containing
the tests included in the best model was used to predict pass or fail
performance on the test.

Results: Performance
on 12 cognitive and three visual tests were significantly associated
with performance on the road test. Five of the tests together explained
59% of the variance and predicted the pass or fail outcome of the road
test with 91% accuracy, 70% sensitivity, and 97% specificity.

Conclusion: Participants’
on-road performance was more accurately predicted by the model
identified in this study than using only performance on the SDSA test
battery. The five psychometric/off-road tests should be used as a
screening battery, after which a follow-up road test should be conducted
to finally decide the fitness to drive of individuals with
relapsing-remitting MS. 

“It is always a difficult call for someone with MS to decide when to stop driving. This battery of tests will help make that decision. It is better for you and your neurology team to help pre-empt the driving issue, rather that it becoming a crisis. I am aware that in some environments, and countries, not being able to drive has a major impact on quality of life. However, we have to remember that it is not just the safety of the MSer and his/her occupants, but other users of the road that we need to take into account. Any thoughts on how to deal with this issue?”

2 thoughts on “Research driving ability: when to stop driving”

  1. I have a driving licence and have informed the DVLA of my MS but I don’t feel confident behind the wheel anymore. I get foggy head and my reflexes seem a fraction slower. Luckily my old man is now retired and drives when I need to get somewhere, but in a way it means I’m more homebound as a result of not wanting to take liberties. This is a hard actuality of MS I have to face; my friends can go as they please but I have restrictions. That’s a hard reality t face when you’re a young MSer like me – always getting worse with no one able to do anything to help me get better.

  2. Well, today was my Last Day. I went to move my guys car snd i don't know exactly what happened, but i went forward instead of Backward and Ended up crashing it into a wall. My Guy, of Course, was Quite upset and Had Some Choice Words for me. He Ended our relationship. 😟. DAMN MS. My Memory of what happened is not clear in my Brain, but this is a sure sign that i am not Safe anymore.

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