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Geriatrics 2016, 1(1), 5; doi:10.3390/geriatrics1010005

Preliminary Validation of a Questionnaire Covering Risk Factors for Impaired Driving Skills in Elderly Patients

1
Evangelisches Krankenhaus Bielefeld, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel, Research Division, Remterweg 69-71, D-33617 Bielefeld, Germany
2
Evangelisches Krankenhaus Bielefeld, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Bethel, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Bethesdaweg 12, D-33617 Bielefeld, Germany
3
Clinical Centre Stuttgart, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy for the Elderly, Prießnitzweg 24, D-70374 Stuttgart, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ralf Lobmann
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impaired Driving Skills in Older Adults)
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Abstract

Due to rather unspecific statutory regulations in Germany, particularly for patients with neurodegenerative disorders, many seniors still drive despite severe driving-related cognitive deficits. An accurate assessment of driving fitness requires immense financial, personnel and temporal resources which go beyond daily clinical routines. In cooperation with a working group from Switzerland, we therefore developed the questionnaire Safety Advice For Elderly drivers (SAFE), an economic instrument covering different risk factors for driving safety. The main aim of the current work was a first validation of the SAFE. Twenty-two driving seniors performed the Corporal A, a test battery permitted by law to assess driving-related cognitive functions. Based upon the Corporal results and the percentile rank 16 criterion, participants were divided into cognitively impaired and unimpaired drivers. Moreover, participants were assessed using the SAFE and an extensive neuropsychological test battery. The results revealed high sensitivity and specifity scores for the SAFE suggesting that the SAFE may be a valuable and economical instrument to quantify and document individual risk factors for driving safety and to differentiate between impaired and unimpaired drivers. Notably, the results must be replicated in future studies including a larger sample, different clinical subgroups, and a practical driving lesson. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; aging; driving fitness; risk factors Alzheimer’s disease; dementia; aging; driving fitness; risk factors
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schulz, P.; Spannhorst, S.; Beblo, T.; Thomas, C.; Kreisel, S.; Driessen, M.; Toepper, M. Preliminary Validation of a Questionnaire Covering Risk Factors for Impaired Driving Skills in Elderly Patients. Geriatrics 2016, 1, 5.

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