To drive or not to drive: assessment dilemmas for GPs

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Most Australians are dependent on their cars for mobility, thus relinquishing driving licences for medical reasons poses challenges. Aims. To investigate how general practitioners (GPs) recognise and manage patients fitness to drive, GPs attitudes and beliefs about their role as assessors, and GPs experiences in assessing and reporting to driving authorities and identify GPs educational needs. Methods. Mixed methods: questionnaire mailed to GPs from three rural and two metropolitan Divisons of General Practice in Victoria, Australia. Results. 217/1028 completed questionnaires were returned: 85 recognised a patients fitness to drive, 54 felt confident in their assessment ability, 21 felt the GP should have primary responsibility for declaring patients fitness to drive, 79 felt that reporting a patient would negatively impact on the doctor-patient relationship, 74 expressed concern about legal liability, and 74 favoured further education. Discussion. This study provides considerable information including recommendations about GP education, the assessment forms, and legal clarification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 6
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Family Medicine
Issue numberArt. No.: 417512
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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