Assessing Fitness to Drive in Patients With Different Types of Dementia

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Abstract

Dementia is a risk factor for unsafe driving. Therefore, an assessment strategy has recently been developed for the prediction of fitness to drive in patients with the Alzheimer disease (AD). The aim of this study was to investigate whether this strategy is also predictive of fitness to drive in patients with non-AD dementia, that is, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Predictors were derived from 3 types of assessment: clinical interviews, neuropsychological tests, and driving simulator rides. The criterion was the pass-fail outcome of an official on-road driving assessment. About half of the patients with non-AD dementia (n=34) failed the on-road driving assessment. Neuropsychological assessment [area under the curve (AUC)=0.786] was significantly predictive of fitness to drive in patients with non-AD dementia, however, clinical interviews (AUC=0.559) and driving simulator rides (AUC=0.404) were not. The fitness-to-drive assessment strategy with the 3 types of assessment combined (AUC=0.635) was not found to significantly predict fitness to drive in non-AD dementia. Different types of dementia require different measures and assessment strategies.

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