Anticipatory Guidance Provision Related to Driving Safety/Cessation for Older Drivers
Huseth-Zosel, Andrea Lynn
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Increasing numbers of older adults continue to drive. Aging-related physical and cognitive changes can impact driving ability. Health care providers (HCPs) are ideally placed in society to provide mobility counseling to older drivers. This research explored the frequency of HCP mobility counseling provision to older drivers; HCP demographic and practice predictors of mobility counseling provision; and rural-urban differences in HCP mobility counseling provision, HCP perceptions of mobility counseling provision, and HCP barriers to mobility counseling provision. Data were collected by surveying HCPs in several upper Midwest states. Two manuscripts were produced as a result of this research. The first article focuses on rural-urban differences in HCP mobility counseling. It was found that rural HCPs were less likely than urban HCPs to provide mobility counseling to patients aged 75 or older. Additionally, rural HCPs were less likely than urban HCPs to feel there are adequate resources, less likely to refer patients if they had questions related to driving issues, and less likely to know where to refer older drivers for driving fitness assessments. The second article focused on HCP demographic and practice predictors of mobility counseling provision. It was found that HCP predictors of mobility counseling provision differed by patient age. HCPs that had personal experience with a motor vehicle crash more often provided mobility counseling to patients aged 65 to 74. For older patients (aged 75 or older), HCPs who practice in rural areas, older HCPs, and HCPs with greater proportions of patients aged 65 or older were more likely to provide mobility counseling. This study is important in laying the groundwork for future research focusing on mobility counseling and older drivers, and emphasizing the significant role of HCPs in this process.