Research Reports - Predictors of driving avoidance and exposure following traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Mar-Apr;29(2):185-92

Labbe DR(1), Vance DE, Wadley V, Novack TA

BACKGROUND: An estimated 40% to 60% of individuals who experience a moderate to
severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) return to driving. However, little is known
about driving behavior post-TBI and how this may be related to demographic,
injury, and outcome factors.
METHODS: A total of 184 participants who experienced moderate to severe TBI were
included in this study. Participants completed a telephone survey regarding
return to driving and current driving behavior. Structural equation modeling was
used to analyze predicted relationships between demographic and injury-related
variables with driving exposure and avoidance within 5 years of injury.
RESULTS: The model indicated that participants who were older and female tended
to avoid a greater number of challenging everyday driving scenarios. Participants
who had more severe injuries and those with poorer performance on cognitive
measures at the time of rehabilitation discharge were likely to drive less
frequently and over less distances at follow-up, though they did not avoid
challenging driving situations.
CONCLUSIONS: Young men and those with more severe injuries may require additional
attention regarding their driving behavior following TBI.

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