Date of Conferral
Older adult safe driving is a growing public health issue; however, the skill set of occupational therapists that provide services to these older clients is unclear. The extent to which occupational therapists possess the skills to evaluate an elderly person's ability to operate safely an automobile is unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional survey was to determine the current capacity building needs of occupational therapists (OT) related to older driver screening, assessment, and intervention. The ecology of human performance framework was the theoretical base of the study. The independent variables were the OTs' training related to older drivers, the OTs' current driving-related professional activities, and the OTs' continuing education interests. The dependent variable was the reported levels of competence in screening, assessment, and intervention, and the covariates were years of experience, level of education, practice setting, gender, and regional location. The survey was disseminated through technological channels of social media and e-mail. The responses from 61 participants were used for analysis. In a descriptive analysis, OTs felt that addressing driving through screening, assessment, and intervention is somewhat important, that currently OTs seldom address driving, and OTs are not very likely to take continuing education courses related to driving in the next 2 to 3 years. In addition, a linear regression analysis determined a relationship between an OT's actual practice and perceived competence. A positive social change of this study emphasized a better understanding of OT's ability to provide driver rehabilitation services to a growing aging population, which in turn promotes safety on the roads.