Research Reports - Return-to-driving expectations following mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2013;27(1):83-91

Preece MH, Geffen GM, Horswill MS

AIM: Although individuals recovering from mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI)
could pose a risk to road safety, little is known about their intentions
regarding return-to-driving. Reported are the expectations of a sample of
emergency department patients with MTBI regarding their recovery and
return-to-driving.
METHOD: Eighty-one patients with MTBI were recruited from an emergency
department. Participants completed an 11-item questionnaire measuring
expectations regarding recovery from injury; five of the items addressed
return-to-driving.
RESULTS: Only 48% of the sample intended to reduce their driving following their
injury. However, those that did intend to reduce their driving nominated a mean
duration of 16.59 days (SD = 31.68) of reduced exposure. A logistic regression
found that previous head injury experience and an interaction between pain and
previous head injury experience predicted intentions to reduce driving.
Similarly, a multiple regression revealed that pain level contributed
significantly to the variance in time estimates of return-to-driving.
CONCLUSION: The finding that half the individuals recovering from MTBI do not
intend to moderate their driving exposure post-injury is cause for concern, as
another study has shown that driving performance is compromised in this group
immediately after injury.

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