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Psychometrics of the AAN Caregiver Driving Safety Questionnaire and contributors to caregiver concern about driving safety in older adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2017

Janessa O. Carvalho*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
Beth Springate
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT
Rachel A. Bernier
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
Jennifer Davis
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
*Corresponding
Correspondence should be addressed to: Janessa O. Carvalho, PhD, Department of Psychology, Bridgewater State University, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325, USA. Email: Janessa.Carvalho@bridgew.edu. Phone: 508-531-1875.

Abstract

Background:

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) updated their practice parameters in the evaluation of driving risk in dementia and developed a Caregiver Driving Safety Questionnaire, detailed in their original manuscript (Iverson Gronseth, Reger, Classen, Dubinsky, & Rizzo, 2010). They described four factors associated with decreased driving ability in dementia patients: history of crashes or citations, informant-reported concerns, reduced mileage, and aggressive driving.

Method:

An informant-reported AAN Caregiver Driving Safety Questionnaire was designed with these elements, and the current study was the first to explore the factor structure of this questionnaire. Additionally, we examined associations between these factors and cognitive and behavioral measures in patients with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease and their informants.

Results:

Exploratory factor analysis revealed a four-component structure, consistent with the theory behind the AAN scale composition. These four factor scores also were significantly associated with performance on cognitive screening instruments and informant reported behavioral dysfunction. Regressions revealed that behavioral dysfunction predicted caregiver concerns about driving safety beyond objective patient cognitive dysfunction.

Conclusions:

In this first known quantitative exploration of the scale, our results support continued use of this scale in office driving safety assessments. Additionally, patient behavioral changes predicted caregiver concerns about driving safety over and above cognitive status, which suggests that caregivers may benefit from psychoeducation about cognitive factors that may negatively impact driving safety.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2017 

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