Cognitive tests indicate fitness to drive after stroke

REFERRAL to occupational therapists (OTs) is best practice when determining fitness to drive among stroke survivors, an expert says.

The call follows a meta-analysis showing office-based screening tools can correctly identify people at risk of failing an on-road driving test post-stroke.

Belgian and US researchers systematically reviewed 30 studies, including four from Australia, showing about one-half (54%) of the total 1700 participants passed an on-road driving test.

They found three cognitive tests, Road Sign Recognition, Compass and the Trail Making Test B, were about 80% accurate in predicting people who would fail an on-road test.

The Road Sign Recognition test involves matching signs to particular driving situations; the Compass test examines vision, attention and mental speed; and the Trail Making Test B measures visual motor tracking and visual scanning ability.

Professor Maria Crotty, head of rehabilitation and aged