Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medical screening for older drivers is misguided, argues senior doctor

Date:
September 25, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Medical screening of older drivers is misguided and typifies a "worrying lack of due diligence" by the medical profession, warns a senior doctor.

Medical screening of older drivers is misguided and typifies a "worrying lack of due diligence" by the medical profession, warns a senior doctor on bmj.com today.

Related Articles


Professor Desmond O'Neill, Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, argues that older drivers not only have an enviable crash record, but they also raise traffic safety among other generations: the risk of serious injury to children is halved if driven by grandparents rather than parents. "Yet the belief that older drivers pose a disproportionate risk to other road users refuses to die."

He points to a recent report from a UK parliamentary charity that "disappointingly overstates the risk of older drivers and recommends training for them, an unnecessary measure of dubious value," he says. Likewise, many jurisdictions demand medical screening of all older drivers, "with the tacit or active acquiescence of the medical profession."

Several factors contribute to this professional lassitude, says Professor O'Neill, such as confusing increased risk of death because of fragility with crash risk, and concerns that age related cognitive impairment and dementia might still justify mass screening of older drivers.

However, a recent study lays the latter issue to rest. When the Danish government added a cognitive screening test to the medical screening test for older drivers, it did not reduce the rate of older people dying in car crashes but significantly increased the rate of older (but not younger) people killed as unprotected road users -- that is, pedestrians and cyclists.

"This hazardous shift from protected to unprotected road user mirrors that found in previous studies on medical screening," says Professor O'Neill, and "should quench the misguided thirst for screening and direct our attention to the real health issues facing our older patients who drive."

He calls for "transportation that is flexible and responsive to the needs of older people" as well as car safety features "designed with the increased fragility of later life in mind." The abolition of age related medical screening and better guidelines for doctors could also play an important role, he adds.

Rather than mass screening, "we should focus on evidence based innovations, such as restricted licensing and rehabilitation, for people with age-related illness," he says. "This is the best approach to protect the safe mobility, and avoid further unhelpful stigmatisation, of a group whose ranks most of us will join in due course."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. O'Neill. Medical screening of older drivers is not evidence based. BMJ, 2012; 345 (sep25 2): e6371 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e6371

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Medical screening for older drivers is misguided, argues senior doctor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925183628.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, September 25). Medical screening for older drivers is misguided, argues senior doctor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925183628.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Medical screening for older drivers is misguided, argues senior doctor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925183628.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins