Online Decision Aid May Help Older Adults Decide When to Stop Driving

Users of online tool had lower decisional conflict and higher knowledge about whether to stop or continue driving

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THURSDAY, April 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- An online tool may help older adults with the decision of whether to stop driving, according to a study published online April 20 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Marian E. Betz, M.D., from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues randomly assigned 301 licensed older drivers (aged 70 years or older) without significant cognitive impairment but with a diagnosis associated with an increased likelihood of driving cessation to either web-based information for older drivers (control) or the online Healthwise Driving Decision Aid.

The researchers found that intervention participants had a lower mean Decisional Conflict Scale score (adjusted mean ratio, 0.76), as well as higher mean knowledge scores (odds ratio 1.13). For self-efficacy scores, there was no difference observed between the groups. The online Healthwise Driving Decision Aid had high acceptability, with 86.9 percent of those who viewed it reporting they would recommend it to others in similar situations, although most chose to continue driving.

"The decision about when to stop driving is a difficult and emotional one -- and also one most older adults eventually face," Betz said in a statement. "Tools like this one may help older adults make the decision and, hopefully, reduce negative feelings about the process."

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