Return to driving in the first 6 months of community integration after acquired brain injury
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BACKGROUND: Return to driving is a goal and milestone in the recovery process following acquired brain injury (ABI). Knowledge of whether and when a person is likely to return to driving is important to people with ABI, family members and clinicians. OBJECTIVE: To determine the rates, timing, correlates, and predictors of return to driving in the first 6 months after discharge from hospital following ABI. METHODS: Survey of 212 participants with ABI and 121 family members at discharge and 3 and 6 months later. Participants with ABI were grouped according to driving status (not driving, returned within 3 months, returned within 6 months). Groups were compared on demographics, injury severity, quality of life, functioning, psychosocial integration, depression, and carer well-being. RESULTS: By 6 months post-discharge 62.3% had resumed driving. Between group differences existed on measures of injury severity, and psychosocial integration at 6 months, and carer depression and strain at discharge and 6 months. Whether and when someone returned to driving could be predicted by length of hospital stay, and level of community integration, and pain at discharge. CONCLUSIONS: Educating clients about their likelihood and timing of return to driving, and supporting non-drivers and their carers may improve psychosocial outcomes.
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