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Development of a novel driving behavior adaptations questionnaire

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 January 2015

Rahel Bieri
Affiliation:
Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation Group, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 21, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland
Tobias Nef*
Affiliation:
Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation Group, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 21, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 50, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland
René M. Müri
Affiliation:
Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation Group, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 21, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland Perception and Eye Movement Laboratory, Departments of Neurology and Clinical Research, University Hospital Inselspital, University of Bern, Inselspital, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland
Urs P. Mosimann
Affiliation:
Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation Group, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 21, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland University Hospital for Old Age Psychiatry, University of Bern, Murtenstrasse 21, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr. Tobias Nef, PhD, Murtenstrasse 50, CH - 3010 Bern, Switzerland. Phone: +41 31 632 46 97; Fax: +41 31 632 89 44. Email: tobias.nef@artorg.unibe.ch.

Abstract

Background:

Driving a car requires adapting one's behavior to current task demands taking into account one's capacities. With increasing age, driving-relevant cognitive performance may decrease, creating a need for risk-reducing behavioral adaptations. Three different kinds of behavioral adaptations are known: selection, optimization, and compensation. These can occur on the tactical and the strategic level. Risk-reducing behavioral adaptations should be considered when evaluating older drivers’ traffic-related risks.

Methods:

A questionnaire to assess driving-related behavioral adaptations in older drivers was created. The questionnaire was administered to 61 years older (age 65–87 years; mean age = 70.2 years; SD = 5.5 years; 30 female, 31 male) and 31 younger participants (age 22–55 years; mean age = 30.5 years; SD = 6.3 years; 16 female and 15 male) to explore age and gender differences in behavioral adaptations.

Results:

Two factors were extracted from the questionnaire, a risk-increasing factor and a risk-reducing factor. Group comparisons revealed significantly more risk-reducing behaviors in older participants (t(84.5) = 2.21, p = 0.013) and females (t(90) = 2.52, p = 0.014) compared, respectively, to younger participants and males. No differences for the risk-increasing factor were found (p > 0.05).

Conclusions:

The questionnaire seems to be a useful tool to assess driving-related behavioral adaptations aimed at decreasing the risk while driving. The possibility to assess driving-related behavioral adaptations in a systematic way enables a more resource-oriented approach in the evaluation of fitness to drive in older drivers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2015 

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