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Clinician knowledge of driving restrictions following a stroke event.

AIM: To investigate the knowledge and practice of health professionals when advising persons on driving restrictions after a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or stroke in a tertiary hospital in New Zealand. METHODS: Health professionals working in the area of stroke care across the acute and rehabilitation services in a large tertiary hospital were invited to complete an electronic survey around knowledge of driving restrictions based on the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) guidelines. Knowledge was assessed for both private and commercial vehicle use. The other information gathered included participant profession, level of seniority and experience working in stroke care, previous education around medical-related driving restrictions and how and what driving recommendations were discussed with patients. Knowledge of driving restrictions was established by the number and percentage of correct responses for each condition (single TIA, multiple TIA and stroke with full recovery) relating to the recommended restrictions in both private and commercial vehicle use. RESULTS: Forty-nine participants' surveys were analysed with representation from across all the health professions (24.5% [12/49] doctors, 38.8% [19/49] nurses and 36.7% [18/49] allied health). Only 38.8% reported having had received training around post-stroke driving restrictions. Knowledge around driving restrictions was highest for a single episode TIA for private vehicle use (73.5% [36/49]). For all other categories, fewer than 50% of participants answered correctly, with knowledge of commercial vehicle restrictions being the least accurate. CONCLUSIONS: Many health professionals have discussions with people about driving restrictions following a TIA or stroke. However, there appears to be limited knowledge of all the restrictions for each condition as they relate to either private or commercial vehicle use. Insufficient training and education for clinicians might explain this gap.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
This article is published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. © NZMA. Used with permission.