Driving and MS

Archer C, Morris L, George S. Assessment and rehabilitation of driver skills: subjective experiences of people with multiple sclerosis and health professionals. Disabil Rehabil. 2014 Feb. [Epub ahead of print]

Purpose: It is acknowledged in the literature that the physical and cognitive effects of the degenerative neurological condition of multiple sclerosis can impact upon driver safety. The aim of this study was to identify the experiences and needs of people with multiple sclerosis in relation to driver assessment and rehabilitation. 
Methods: Focus group discussions were conducted with people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who were: currently driving; no longer licensed or no longer driving and health professionals. 
Results: The four themes that emerged from the data were: (1) from self-management to formal assessment – a journey of uncertainty and emotional dilemmas; (2) lost independence with grieving and adjustment by self and family; (3) alternative transport is challenging and unsatisfactory; (4) gaps in information and services exist. 
Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the need for ongoing support in relation to driving for people with MS, ranging from support for self-management, driving assessment and retraining, and preparation for loss of license. Standardised information needs to be developed and health professionals and licensing authorities require knowledge and skills to ensure driver assessment and rehabilitation processes and resources can better meet the needs of people with MS. Implications for Rehabilitation There is a need for health professionals to examine driving in people with MS in a holistic manner taking into account the context for the person and the supports available. Self-management and self-assessment emerged as a preferred approach for the participants in this study, indicating that health professionals may need to engage with the process. Tools to support self-assessment of driving abilities for people with MS require further research. Indicators for review and formal assessment of driving abilities is needed. Alternative forms of transport require further investigation and improvement for people with MS.

ProfG has posted on driving before






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