Self-reported health and driving cessation in community-dwelling older drivers

Academic Article


  • Background. Stopping driving has significant negative consequences for older adults, but there is no simple, reliable screening tool to predict driving cessation. We sought to determine if self-rated health (SRH) was an independent predictor of driving cessation among older adults. Methods. Data on SRH (poor, fair, good, very good, or excellent), medical diagnoses, physical performance, visual acuity, driving status, and other relevant covariates were collected from 649 community-dwelling older Alabama drivers during in-home interviews. Using multivariable logistic regression analyses, we estimated the association of SRH with driving cessation 2 years later. Results. Participants had a mean age of 74 years; 43% were women, 41% African American, and 48% rural. Overall, 36% reported poor to fair SRH at baseline, and 11% had stopped driving after 2 years. Compared to 8% of drivers with good to excellent SRH, 17% with poor to fair health stopped driving (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-3.41; p = .025). Lower Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores (adjusted OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78-0.95; p = .001) and older age (adjusted OR, 1.06 per year; 95% CI, 1.01-1.11; p = .010) were also associated with driving cessation. Receiver operating characteristics curves documented similar predictive discrimination (c statistics) for SRH (0.72), the SPPB (0.70), and a count of comorbidities based on the Charlson Comorbidity Index (0.73). Conclusions. Poor to fair SRH predicted incident driving cessation after 2 years in a cohort of older adults. SRH can be easily obtained during clinic visits to identify at-risk drivers. Copyright 2007 by The Gerontological Society of America.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sims RV; Ahmed A; Sawyer P; Allman RM
  • Start Page

  • 789
  • End Page

  • 793
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 7