Developing Physician Consensus on the Reporting of Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Mild Dementia to Transportation Authorities in a Region with Mandatory Reporting Legislation
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OBJECTIVE: To establish consensus among dementia experts about which patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild dementia should be reported to transportation authorities. METHODS: We conducted a literature review of predictors of driving safety in patients with dementia and combined these into 26 case scenarios. Using a modified Delphi technique, case scenarios were reviewed by 38 dementia experts (geriatric psychiatrists, geriatricians, cognitive neurologists and family physicians with expertise in elder care) who indicated whether or not they would report the patient in each scenario to regional transportation authorities and recommend a specialized on-road driving test. Scenarios were presented up to five times to achieve consensus, defined as 85% agreement, and discrepancies were discussed anonymously online. RESULTS: By the end of the fifth iteration, there was cumulative consensus on 18 scenarios (69%). The strongest predictors of decision to report were the combination of caregiver concern about the patient's driving and abnormal Clock Drawing Test, which accounted for 62% of the variance in decision to report at the same time as or without a road test (p <0.01). Based on these data, an algorithm was developed to guide physician decision-making about reporting patients with MCI or mild dementia to transportation authorities. CONCLUSION: This study supports existing international guidelines that recommend specialized on-road testing when driving safety is uncertain for patients with MCI and emphasizes the importance of assessing executive dysfunction and caregiver concern about driving.
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