Office-Based Tests Identify Unsafe Drivers After Stroke

Simple off-road tests can help determine whether people are safe to drive after a stroke

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Several office-based tests on road safety can be administered to post-stroke patients to identify those individuals at risk of failing an on-road evaluation, according to a review published in the February issue of Neurology.

Hannes Devos, of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 30 studies, and a meta-analysis of 27 to identify which office-based tests best predicted which post-stroke individuals would fail an on-road assessment. There were 1,728 study participants, of which 938 (54 percent) passed an on-road evaluation.

The researchers identified three assessments that represented the best determinants of performance in an on-road examination: the Road Sign Recognition, the Compass, and the Trail-Making Test B assessments. These tests were able to accurately identify 84, 85, and 80 percent, respectively, of drivers who would fail the on-road test. People who scored below 8.5 out of 12 on the road sign test, below 25 out of 32 on the Compass test, and required more than 90 seconds to finish the trail-making test were more likely to fail the on-road test.

"These are simple tests that can be done in the doctor's office, which is important because on-road tests are time-consuming and expensive," the authors stated in a press release.

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