Comparing Caregiver and Clinician Predictions of Fitness to Drive in People With Alzheimer’s Disease

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Abstract

This observational study investigated family caregiver and clinician ratings of 75 drivers with Alzheimer’s disease against scores on a standardized road test and a naturalistic driving evaluation. Clinician ratings by a physician specialized in dementia were significantly associated with road test error scores (r = .25, p = .03) but not naturalistic driving errors or global ratings of road test and naturalistic driving performance. Caregiver ratings were unrelated to either driving assessment, with two exceptions; adult child ratings of driving ability were correlated with road test error scores (r = .43, p = .02), and spousal ratings were inversely correlated with global ratings. Clinician ratings of driving competence were modestly correlated with road test performance, but caregiver ratings were more complex. Adult children may be more accurate reporters of driving ability than spouses, possibly because of less personal bias, but the reasons behind this discrepancy need further investigation.

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