Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Occupational Therapy

Advisor

Susan Noyes PhD, OTR/L

Keywords

aging population, road safety, mobility, United States, USM Aging Initative, Health and Wellness, Self Determination

Abstract

As the U.S. population ages, increasing the likelihood of impaired fitness-to-drive, the topic of road safety holds strong interest among numerous professionals. The field of occupational therapy (OT) affirms the importance of community mobility in supporting overall health and well-being. OT practitioners who encounter clients with questionable driving ability should refer them to driving specialists. However, the question remains what kind of interventions may help clients with cognitive decline who have the potential to return to safe driving. This project’s evidence search revealed a wide range of interventions that show promise including: classroom education (especially when augmented by on-road training), cognitive-perceptual trainings, simulator and virtual reality training, and physical exercise incorporating cognitive challenges. Because there is no definitive one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone, approaches should be highly individualized. Throughout the process, OT practitioners should maintain an open dialogue and sensitivity with their clients.

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