Research Reports - Return to driving in the first 6 months of community integration after acquired brain injury

NeuroRehabilitation. 2013 Nov 27

Fleming J, Liddle J, Nalder E, Weir N, Cornwell P

BACKGROUND: Return to driving is a goal and milestone in the recovery process
following acquired brain injury (ABI). Knowledge of whether and when a person is
likely to return to driving is important to people with ABI, family members and
clinicians.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates, timing, correlates, and predictors of return
to driving in the first 6 months after discharge from hospital following ABI.
METHODS: Survey of 212 participants with ABI and 121 family members at discharge
and 3 and 6 months later. Participants with ABI were grouped according to driving
status (not driving, returned within 3 months, returned within 6 months). Groups
were compared on demographics, injury severity, quality of life, functioning,
psychosocial integration, depression, and carer well-being.
RESULTS: By 6 months post-discharge 62.3% had resumed driving. Between group
differences existed on measures of injury severity, and psychosocial integration
at 6 months, and carer depression and strain at discharge and 6 months. Whether
and when someone returned to driving could be predicted by length of hospital
stay, and level of community integration, and pain at discharge.
CONCLUSIONS: Educating clients about their likelihood and timing of return to
driving, and supporting non-drivers and their carers may improve psychosocial
outcomes.

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