Conference & Journal Papers Database

< Back to search

Older road user safety - identifying needs and gaps in health professionals' communications with older patients about fitness to drive

Harris, A, Pereira, N, Clarkson, E

Older Drivers/Users

ARSC conference 2015

Health professionals have an important role to play in assessing and advising their patients about fitness to drive. This is important for all drivers, but especially older drivers. _x000D_

_x000D_The aims of this exploratory research were to:_x000D_

* determine what health professionals currently know about older drivers' fitness to drive and road safety; _x000D_

* identify any gaps in health professionals' knowledge; _x000D_

* determine the most effective ways of informing or educating health professionals about fitness to drive and how to provide the best advice to their older patients._x000D_

_x000D_A range of consultations, focus groups and qualitative surveys were undertaken with Victorian GPs, optometrists, occupational therapists and other health professionals. _x000D_

_x000D_The research showed that the take up of existing training or education opportunities was generally low, especially among GPs. Raising the awareness among health professionals about their key responsibilities, the main conditions that can affect driving and how to assess fitness to drive were identified as key needs. Several recommendations to improve the communication with health professionals were identified, including easy to use resources and references, plus improved education and professional development.