Self-Reported Driving Difficulty, Avoidance, and Negative Emotion With On-Road Driving Performance in Older Adults With Glaucoma

Sharon L. Sabapathypillai, Monica S. Perlmutter, Peggy Barco, Bradley Wilson, Mae Gordon, David Carr, Anjali M. Bhorade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To investigate the relationship between self-perceived driving difficulty, driving avoidance, and negative emotion about driving with glaucoma severity and on-road driving performance. DESIGN: Cohort study. METHODS: Glaucoma patients (n = 111), aged 55 to 90 years, with mild, moderate, and advanced glaucoma in the better-eye based on the Glaucoma Staging System, and age-matched controls (n = 47) were recruited from a large tertiary academic center. Self-reported questionnaires were administered by a trained occupational therapist followed by a standardized on-road driving evaluation (pass vs “at-risk” score) with a masked and certified driving rehabilitation specialist. RESULTS: Compared to controls, glaucoma participants reported greater driving difficulty with as early as mild glaucoma (P = .0391) and negative emotion about driving starting with moderate glaucoma (P = .0042). Glaucoma participants reporting at least 1 driving difficulty and negative emotion had a 3.3-fold (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.3; 95% CI = 1.24-8.52; P = .0163) and 4.2-fold (adjusted OR = 4.2; 95% CI = 1.5-12.2; P = .0078) greater odds, respectively, of an at-risk score on the on-road test. Self-reported driving difficulty in “difficult” conditions (P = .0019), rain (P = .0096), interstates (P = .0378), and high traffic (P = .0076), driving avoidance on sunny (P = .0065) and cloudy (P = .0043) days, and driving fewer days per week (P = .0329) were also associated with at-risk driving. CONCLUSIONS: Screening tools that assess self-perceived driving difficulty and driving avoidance in specific conditions, negative emotion about driving, and driving exposure may help identify unsafe drivers with glaucoma. Some of these drivers, particularly those with modest glaucoma, may benefit from a driving evaluation and early referral to resources that could enable them to continue driving safely and confidently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
StatePublished - Sep 2022


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