Older people's attitudes towards resuming driving in the first four months post-stroke

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Abstract

Aim:

Little is known about how older people recovering from stroke perceive their return to driving, particularly in the early stages of recovery when they may receive driving information.

Methods:

Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 participants (52% female, mean age 74.5 years) within the first 16 weeks post-stroke, while inpatients in either acute or rehabilitation stroke wards. Interview data were analysed using content analysis.

Results:

Three main themes emerged: ‘driving as independence’, ‘emphasis on physical recovery’, and ‘limits on driving pre-stroke’.

Conclusions:

For the most part, driving was not a key consideration for participants during this phase of their recovery. Physical restrictions and confidence were seen as the main deterrent to driving post-stroke; however, this varied according to gender. Driving information is generally not retained in the first four weeks of recovery post-stroke. This has implications for the content and timing of driving information given post-stroke.

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