Fitness to drive: GP perspectives of assessing older and functionally impaired patients

Kay Margaret Jones, Sian Rouse-Watson, Andrew Alexander Beveridge, Jane Sims, Peter Schattner

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: General practitioners have expressed concern about their ability to assess patients driving fitness. This study explores GP perspectives regarding assessing fitness to drive in older and functionally impaired patients. Method: We held face-to-face interviews with seven metropolitan GPs and a focus group with nine rural GPs. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: General practitioners were unsure whether they or driving authorities should have responsibility for assessing patients fitness to drive; recognised that driving is important for maintaining independence; described referral to an occupational therapist as useful, and expressed concern about the lack of access to alternative forms of transport and also about privacy issues. Opinion was divided about the merits of the VicRoads Medical Report Form and the usefulness of the Austroads guide. Discussion: This qualitative study suggests that some GPs may find assessing fitness to drive to be challenging and problematic in general practice. Further resources and education could assist these GPs to increase their confidence and competence in assessing a patient s fitness to drive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235 - 239
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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