Association of functional impairments and co-morbid conditions with driving performance among cognitively normal older adults

David B. Carr, Peggy P. Barco, Ganesh M. Babulal, Sarah H. Stout, Anne M. Johnson, Chengjie Xiong, John C. Morris, Catherine M. Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the relationship between key functional impairments, co-morbid conditions and driving performance in a sample of cognitively normal older adults. Design: Prospective observational study Setting: The Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Washington University at St. Louis Participants: Individuals with normal cognition, 64.9 to 88.2 years old (N = 129), with a valid driver's license, who were currently driving at least once per week, and who had participated in longitudinal studies at the Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Measurements: Static visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, physical frailty measures, motor skills, total medical conditions, and the modified Washington University Road Test. Results: When controlling for age, race, gender, APOE, and education the total number of medical conditions was unassociated with both road test scores (pass vs. marginal + fail) and the total driver error count. There were marginal associations of our measure of physical frailty (p = 0.06) and contrast sensitivity score (p = 0.06) with total driving error count. Conclusion: Future research that focuses on older adults and driving should consider adopting measures of physical frailty and contrast sensitivity, especially in samples that may have a propensity for disease impacting visual and/or physical function (e.g. osteoarthritis, Parkinson's, eye disorders, advanced age >80 years, etc.).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0167751
JournalPloS one
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2016

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