Driving restrictions post-stroke

Driving restrictions post-stroke: Physicians' compliance with regulations

Publisher's full text
Selina Mårdh
Pamela Mårdh

Objective: Suffering a stroke might lead to permanent cognitive and/or physical impairment. It has been shown that these impairments could have an impact on an individual's fitness to drive. In Sweden, as in many other countries, there are regulations on driving cessation post-stroke. Information on driving cessation should be given to all patients and noted in the journal.The present study sought to determine physician's compliance to driving regulations post-stroke as well as follow-up and gender aspects.

Method: A retrospective study of medical records on stroke patients was carried out. The study covered all of the medical records on stroke incidents (n = 342) during a year at a typical medium to large-sized hospital in Sweden.

Results: A journal entry on driving cessation post-stroke was missing in 81% of the medical records. Only 2% of the patients were scheduled for a follow-up meeting specifically concerning fitness to drive. Significantly more men than women had an entry on driving in the journal.

Conclusions: We conclude that the Swedish regulations on driving cessation post-stroke were not followed at the participating hospital. It is crucial that all stroke patients receive information on driving cessation because their condition might affect fitness to drive. Analysis of follow-up records showed that there was no consistent method for assessment of a patient's fitness to drive. There was also a gender difference in the material, which warrants further investigation.

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