Driving and Dementia: Workshop Module on Communicating Cessation to Drive

Anna Byszewski, Barbara Power, Linda Lee, Glara Gaeun Rhee, Robert Parson, Frank Molnar

Abstract


Background

For persons with dementia (PWD), driving becomes very dangerous. Physicians in Canada are legally responsible to report unfit drivers and then must disclose that decision to their patients. That difficult discussion is fraught with challenges: physicians want to maintain a healthy
relationship; patients often lack insight into their cognitive loss and have very strong emotional reactions to the loss of their driving privileges. All of which may stifle the exchange of accurate information. The goal of this project was to develop a multimedia module that would provide strategies and support for health professionals having these difficult conversations.

Methods

Literature search was conducted of Embase and OVID MedLine on available driving and dementia tools, and on websites of online tools for communication strategies on driving cessation. A workshop module was developed with background material, communication strategies, links to resources and two videos demonstrating the “bad” then the “good” ways of managing this emotionally charged discussion.

Results

When the module was tested with internal medicine trainees, results demonstrated that confidence increased significantly (p < .001), and comfort and willingness in discussing the subject improved.

Conclusion

This project demonstrated the positive impact of the module on improving health professionals’ attitude and readiness to communicate driving cessation to PWD.


Keywords


driving cessation; communication; dementia

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.20.264

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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)