Thursday, October 27, 2011

Discussing Driving Skills with Seniors

A study conducted at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center has found that most eyecare providers consider it their responsibility to ask patients aged 65 and older about their driving abilities.

The study was led by Donald C. Musch, Ph.D. and surveyed 500 ophthalmologists and optometrists in Michigan on how they evaluate the driving capabilities of senior patients. The majority of eyecare providers routinely asks senior patients about driving and often tests visual acuity and peripheral vision in these patients. 87% of practitioners reported asking senior patients about glare, night driving, and the ability to read signs. However, only 8% of practitioners surveyed said they ask senior drivers about their driving records or about more challenging maneuvers such as merging or backing up. The study also found that eyecare providers often neglect to ask seniors about medical conditions or medications that might impact the ability to drive. The study was supported by a grant from M-CASTL, a unit of the U-M Transportation Research Institute, the University said in the release.

SOURCE: Eyeworld Magazine Volume 16, Number 33 September 5, 2011