To drive or not to drive, that is still the question: current challenges in driving recommendations for patients with brain tumours
Driving is a complex task that requires integration of various skills that may be impaired in patients with brain tumours. Determining fitness to drive is a responsibility of all physicians in Canada; however, it is an inconsistent practice based on few objective guidelines. The primary purpose of the study is to determine the consistency of driving recommendations amongst health care professionals in Ontario. Secondary aims include evaluation of physician awareness of driving regulations and determination of whether physicians would benefit from more specific driving guidelines. An 18-item questionnaire was sent to 126 health care professionals who take care of patients with brain tumours in Ontario. Seventy-five health care professionals responded to the survey. Less than 10% said they could reliably determine fitness to drive and almost an equal percentage of respondents indicated that determining fitness to drive should be a shared responsibility. The factors deemed important in determining driving safety were highly variable; 70% indicated that cognitive and emotional deficits were important. Over a third of respondents never heard of the CMA guidelines and of those who were familiar with it, 12.5% felt they were sufficient to inform clinical decisions. 90% of respondents wanted more specific and detailed driving guidelines for patients with brain tumours. The current guidelines for physicians are not specific enough for physicians to confidently determine fitness to drive in this population. These findings suggest the need for more detailed guidelines for driving safety that are based on empirical studies on driving habits and performance in patients with a variety of brain tumours.
KeywordsBrain tumour Neuro-oncology Driving Guidelines
St. Michael’s Brain Tumour Research Fund and the Comprehensive Research Experience for Medical Students (CREMS).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors report any conflicts of interest.
This study was approved by the local institutional review board.
All participants provided written informed consent.
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