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New Test Can Predict Older Drivers' Ability to Pass Driving Test

A new test called Fit2Drive can help predict whether older drivers will pass an on-road driving test, according to a study published on June 3 in JAMDA, the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

The study, led by Ruth Tappen, Ed.D., R.N., from Florida Atlantic University, evaluated 412 older drivers. These drivers included both patients from a memory center and community-based participants.

Results showed that 54 percent of the memory center participants failed the on-road driving test, compared to only 8 percent of the community-based participants.

The Trail Making Test B, which measures the time it takes to complete a task, had the strongest correlation with the on-road test results. Combining the Trail Making Test B results with the Mini-Mental State Exam scores (specifically the Serial 7s or WORLD spelled backward) provided the highest accuracy in predicting the test outcomes.

Ruth Tappen explained that the emotional reactions of patients and the need for objective data to guide clinicians motivated the development of Fit2Drive. The test aims to give clinicians clear, evidence-based information to help patients and their families make informed decisions about continuing to drive, a significant concern for older adults and their healthcare providers.

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