Occupational therapy practice as it relates to drivers with dementia

Geri Adler, Susan J. Rottunda, Michael A. Kuskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Occupational therapy has taken a leading role in the screening, assessment, and retraining of potentially unsafe older drivers. This investigation examined the attitudes, knowledge, and practices of occupational therapists (OTs) concerning drivers with dementia. Methods: A questionnaire that obtained perspectives about and experiences with drivers with dementia was mailed to licensed OTs from North Carolina and South Carolina. Results: The sample was comprised of 180 OTs. Therapists who had a strong perceived role regarding driver rehabilitation and intervention, believed that it was an important topic to address, and were knowledgeable about driving-related issues were more likely to address the issue with clients and their family. Conclusions: The growing concern about the safety of older drivers with dementia supports the importance of OTs addressing the driving needs of their clients. We recommend increasing the number of trained OT driving specialists as well as emphasizing dementia-related continuing education training for OT generalists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-367
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Gerontological Society of America through the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program. The work reported here was also supported in-part with resources and the use of facilities at the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.


  • Dementia
  • Driving
  • Occupational therapy


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