Research Reports - Early neuropsychological tests as correlates of return to driving after traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2014;28(1):38-43

Cullen N, Krakowski A, Taggart C

OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of neuropsychometric tests administered during
inpatient rehabilitation to predict return to driving after traumatic brain
injury (TBI).
DESIGN: Retrospective, matched case-controlled study.
METHODS: Sixty-seven participants with TBI, drawn from an existing database,
completed a questionnaire that assessed return to driving post-TBI, as measured
by reinstatement of the driver's license. Drivers were individually case-matched
to non-drivers on age, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Disability Rating Scale (DRS)
and the rehabilitation admission interval (RAI). Scores on four
neuropsychological tests (Trail-Making A, Trail Making B, Digit Span-forward and
Digit Span-backward), administered during the rehabilitation stay, were compared
between case-matched drivers and non-drivers.
OUTCOME MEASURE: Return to driving, as defined by reinstatement of the driver's
RESULTS: Participants who had returned to driving were comparable to those who
had not returned to driving with respect to demographic variables, initial injury
severity and baseline functioning. Scores on two neuropsychological assessments
were significantly better in participants who had returned to driving than in
those who had not: Trail-making A (p < 0.01) and Trail-making B (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that neuropsychological measures of processing
speed and cognitive flexibility may predict return to driving after TBI.

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