Older Adults’ Preferences for Communication with Healthcare Providers About Driving

A synthesis of qualitative studies of older adults’ preferences concerning communication with their healthcare providers about driving, including driving safety and planning for future “driving retirement".

September 2015

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tamra Johnson
202-942-2079
TRJohnson@national.aaa.com

Authors

Marian E. Betz

Kenneth A. Scott

Jacqueline Jones

Carolyn DiGuiseppi

Abstract

Aim

To synthesize published qualitative studies to identify older adults’ preferences for communication about driving with healthcare providers.

Background

Healthcare providers play a key role in addressing driving safety and driving retirement with older adults, but conversations about driving can be difficult. Guides exist for family members and providers, but to date less is known about the types of communication and messages older drivers want from their healthcare providers.

Design

Qualitative metasynthesis of studies published on or before October 10, 2014, in databases (PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Web of Science) and grey literature.

Review Methods

22 published studies representing 518 older adult drivers met the following inclusion criteria: (1) the study was about driving; (2) the study involved older drivers; (3) the study was qualitative (rather than quantitative or mixed methods); and (4) the study contained information on older drivers’ perspectives about communication with healthcare providers.

Results

We identified five major themes regarding older adults’ communication preferences: (1) driving discussions are emotionally charged; (2) context matters; (3) providers are trusted and viewed as authority figures; (4) communication should occur over a period of time rather than suddenly; and (5) older adults desire agency in the decision to stop driving.

Conclusion

Various stakeholders involved in older driver safety should consider older drivers’ perspectives regarding discussions about driving. Healthcare providers can respect and empower older drivers—and support their family members—through tactful communication about driving safety and mobility transitions during the life course.

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

Tamra Johnson
202-942-2079
TRJohnson@national.aaa.com

Authors

Marian E. Betz

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Kenneth A. Scott

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Jacqueline Jones

University of Colorado

Carolyn DiGuiseppi

University of Colorado