Claire Spargo

Driving in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI): current practice and perspectives amongst people with MCI, occupational therapists and medical practitioners

Award: 
Dementia Australia Research Foundation PhD Scholarship
Status: 
In Progress
Project Snapshot: 

Research has shown that many people living with mild cognitive impairment have only minor driving problems, whereas other people demonstrate unsafe driving behaviours such as difficulty positioning the vehicle within the correct lane. However, it is not known what driving recommendations are made by the health professionals who see these people when they attend memory and driving clinics. It is unclear what proportion of these people are suspended from driving, recommended to continue driving or referred for on-road driving assessments. This project will involve an audit of medical records that are written by doctors working in these clinics to find out what driving recommendations they make. People living with mild cognitive impairment, doctors and occupational therapists will also be interviewed to obtain different perspectives about current practice and gaps. We will address the gaps identified by developing a tool to assist with decision making about fitness to drive. It is anticipated that this will lead to improved safety for all road users and reduce negative outcomes for people living with mild cognitive impairment who demonstrate the ability to continue driving safely.