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Health Care Provider Mobility Counseling Provision to Older Adults: A Rural/Urban Comparison

Abstract

The current study examined rural–urban differences in health care provider (HCP) perceptions, attitudes, and practices related to driving safety/cessation-related anticipatory guidance provision to older adults. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with HCPs in several north central states. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine dimensions of HCP perceptions and attitudes related to mobility counseling. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine if HCP rurality was significantly predictive of HPC provision of mobility counseling by age. Rural HCPs were less likely than urban HCPs to provide mobility counseling to their patients aged 75 or older. Rural HCPs were less likely to refer patients to a driving fitness evaluation resource if they had questions related to driving issues, and were less likely to perceive there were adequate resources to help with driving issues. Rural–urban differences in HCP mobility counseling provision may contribute to potential health disparities between urban and rural patients. Both rural and urban HCPs need training about older driver issues, so they may educate their patients about driving safety/cessation. Future research should examine the association between rural–urban differences in HCP mobility counseling provision and rural older adult overrepresentation in motor vehicle injuries and fatalities statistics.

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Correspondence to Andrea L. Huseth-Zosel.

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Huseth-Zosel, A.L., Sanders, G., O’Connor, M. et al. Health Care Provider Mobility Counseling Provision to Older Adults: A Rural/Urban Comparison. J Community Health 41, 1–10 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-015-0055-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-015-0055-8

Keywords

  • Older drivers
  • Driving cessation
  • Mobility counseling
  • Rural