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RI Hospital: Standardized road test results differ from older adults' natural driving
Date:12/5/2012

he individuals with cognitive impairment had more errors on both the road test and naturalistic driving compared to cognitively healthy older adults. However, the cognitively impaired participants had a greater number of more severe errors on the standardized test than in their natural driving, suggesting that the standardized test may be more cognitively demanding than natural driving.

"It's natural to worry about older adults behind the wheel, even more so if they appear to have memory or cognitive issues, or have been formally diagnosed as such," Davis said. "But many of the people in our study drove safely.

"Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease shouldn't result in an automatic revocation of an individual's driver's license," she said. "Rather, it should emphasize the importance of monitoring an older person's driving, so that he or she can safely maintain their mobility and independence for as long as possible."

Researchers note that this is the first study to compare standardized driving tests with natural driving, and requires further study.
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Contact: Ellen Slingsby
eslingsby@lifespan.org
401-641-0950
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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