Occupational therapy driver assessments with mental health consumers: A mixed-methods study

Dun, C, Swan, J, Hitch, Danielle and Vlachou, V 2020, Occupational therapy driver assessments with mental health consumers: A mixed-methods study, Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 330-340, doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12652.

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Title Occupational therapy driver assessments with mental health consumers: A mixed-methods study
Author(s) Dun, C
Swan, J
Hitch, DanielleORCID iD for Hitch, Danielle orcid.org/0000-0003-2798-2246
Vlachou, V
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
Volume number 67
Issue number 4
Start page 330
End page 340
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2020-08
ISSN 0045-0766
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
driver assessment
community mobility
fitness to drive
mental health
occupational therapy
driving/community mobility
Summary © 2020 Occupational Therapy Australia Introduction: Driving is an important occupation, which enables other recovery goals for adult mental health consumers. Multidisciplinary clinicians can support consumers to engage in safe driving practices, which may include referral to a specialist occupational therapy driver assessor. There is presently limited evidence to inform us about the role of occupational therapy driver assessors in mental health and the impact of such services for consumers. Therefore, this study aimed to describe the reasons for referral and the recommendations resulting from driver assessments with adult consumers in a mental health setting and understand the experiences of driver assessors providing these services. Methods: A mixed-methods sequential design was employed in this study. Thirty driver assessments (n = 27 consumers) were analysed to identify consumer demographics, assessment recommendations, impact on licence status and rehabilitation outcomes. Focus groups were then conducted with five occupational therapy driver assessors. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively using frequencies and means, while qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. Results: The majority of consumers were diagnosed with psychotic disorders and presented with complex needs. The three primary reasons for referral were (a) cognitive or mental health concerns, (b) consumers directed by licencing authority to undertake driver assessment and (c) consumers wanting to resume driving after not driving for a significant time. Overall, 21 consumers (70%) were recommended to hold a driver licence after completion of an occupational therapy driver assessment. Qualitative themes about the experience of occupational therapy driver assessors included the reality of driver assessments; that outcomes are usually positive, and further support is needed for driver assessments. Conclusion: Driver assessments enable most consumers to return to driving. Occupational therapy driver assessors require greater support to perform this role, including dedicated time and peer support, to facilitate multidisciplinary clinicians and consumers to collaboratively achieve driving outcomes.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12652
Field of Research 1103 Clinical Sciences
1117 Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30139081

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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