An increasing number of older adults drive automobiles. Given that the prevalence of dementia is rising, it is necessary to address the issue of driving retirement. The purpose of this study is to evaluate how a self-administered decision aid contributed to decision making about driving retirement by individuals living with dementia. The primary outcome measure in this study was decisional conflict. Knowledge, decision, satisfaction with decision, booklet use and booklet acceptability were the secondary outcome measures.
A mixed methods approach was adopted. Drivers with dementia were recruited from an Aged Care clinic and a Primary Care center in NSW, Australia. Telephone surveys were conducted before and after participants read the decision aid.
Twelve participants were recruited (mean age 75, SD 6.7). The primary outcome measure, decisional conflict, improved following use of the decision aid. Most participants felt that the decision aid: (i) was balanced; (ii) presented information well; and (iii) helped them decide about driving. In addition, mean knowledge scores improved after booklet use.
This decision aid shows promise as an acceptable, useful and low-cost tool for drivers with dementia. A self-administered decision aid can be used to assist individuals with dementia decide about driving retirement. A randomized controlled trial is underway to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool.