Evaluation of a program to enable older, at-risk drivers to stop or limit driving, but maintain mobility

Summary

Giving up driving is one of the most difficult decisions an older person can make. While there are concerns about safety of older drivers, no longer driving can dramatically reduce independence and social inclusion.

Supervisor(s)

Dr Lisa Keay

Research Location

The George Institute for Global Health

Program Type

PHD

Synopsis

There is evidence that older people with functional limitations are more likely to restrict their driving or give up driving altogether. However, there are other factors which influence the timeliness of this decision. This PhD project will be part of a large trial evaluating the transition to restricting or stopping driving in a group of 380 drivers aged 75 years and older funded by an ARC Discovery Project Grant.

In this project we plan to build on existing proven educational programs which promote safe driving practices and guide older drivers towards less reliance on motor vehicle transport. This will include advice for staying mobile and accessing alternative forms of transport. The student would be involved in the program development, field testing and delivery in the randomised controlled trial. Independent mobility and community participation will be measured over 12 months.

The main outcome will be compared between the group receiving the program and the group of drivers who do not receive the program. Each participant's vehicle will be outfitted with C4D Data Recorder with connected External GPS Receiver which will provide rich objective data on the driving patterns of older drivers. The results of the trial will generate evidence about the cost-effectiveness of such programs and increase our understanding of transport needs for older members of the community.

Additional Information

Applicants should hold an appropriate Honours 1 or high 2A (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in occupational therapy or other related discipline. A Masters level qualification in public health, would be an advantage. Applicants must be Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or New Zealand citizens. The scholarship stipend is $22,860 per annum over a period of three years (tax exempt).

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Keywords

aging, driver safety, social inclusion, mobility, life space

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1326