In-Office Test Can Predict Likelihood of Seniors Passing On-Road Driving Test

Authors say Fit2Drive provides the clinician with useful, objective evidence to inform driving decisions
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, July 5, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A new in-office test (Fit2Drive) can predict an older individual's probability of passing an on-road driving test, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMDA, the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Ruth Tappen, Ed.D., R.N., from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, and colleagues assessed 412 older drivers (those seen at a memory center and community-based participants) who received a driving evaluation.

The researchers found that 54 percent of memory center participants failed the on-road evaluation versus 8 percent of the community sample. The highest correlation to the on-road evaluation was seen for the Trail Making Test B time in seconds (r = −0.713). The highest accuracy was seen with a linear combination of Trails B in seconds and Mini-Mental State Exam (using the highest of the Serial 7s or WORLD spelled backward scores), yielding an area under the curve of 0.915.

"The anger, tears, and frustration on the part of the individual patient and the lack of objective data to guide clinician recommendations are the driving forces behind our efforts to develop a highly accurate, evidence-based predictor of the ability to pass an on-road driving test," Tappen said in a statement. "Fit2Drive results are intended to provide the clinician with useful objective evidence that may be shared with the patient and family concerned about the advisability of continuing to drive, a situation that is a major life event for them and a challenge for primary care providers."

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