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Rehabil Res Pract. 2012;2012:837301. doi: 10.1155/2012/837301. Epub 2012 Feb 13.

Driving difficulties and adaptive strategies: the perception of individuals having sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Occupational Therapy Program, School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7.


Introduction. After a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), individuals quickly resume driving. However, relatively little is known about the impact of mTBI on driving ability and, notably, on the perceived influence of postconcussive symptoms on driving. Hence, the objective of this study was to document the perception of driving abilities in individuals with mTBI. Method. Twenty-seven drivers with mTBI were interviewed to document their perception regarding their driving abilities. Both driving-related difficulties and compensatory strategies used to increase driving safety were documented. A mixed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data was completed. Results. 93% of participants reported at least one difficulty perceived as having an impact on everyday activities. Most frequently named problems affecting driving were fatigue and reduced concentration. In addition, 74% of participants had adapted their driving or developed strategies to compensate for driving difficulties. Discussion/Conclusion. Postconcussive symptoms have repercussions on driving ability. However, people with mTBI tend to be aware of their difficulties and develop, over time, adaptive strategies. Preventive measures are thus warranted to increase health care professionals' awareness of the potential consequences of mTBI on driving ability and to promote guidelines for the safe resumption of driving after injury.

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