Select Physical Performance Measures and Driving Outcomes in Older Adults: A LongROAD Study

This systematic review examines previous research into the association between three well-validated measures of lower extremity physical functioning and driving outcomes in older adults.

March 2016

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

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

Authors

Thelma J. Mielenz

Laura Durbin

Jodi A. Cisewski

Jack M. Guralnik

Guohua Li

Abstract

This systematic review assesses the evidence in the research literature on the association between three well-validated lower extremity physical functioning measures with driving outcomes in older adults.

Background

  • Driving exposure (meaning driving distance and trips taken), driving cessation, crashes, citations, and poor driving ability are all factors that can have significant implications for safety and health among older adults and identifying measures associated with these factors is important for preventing negative driving outcomes
  • Current physical functioning measures that are regularly employed are the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG), and the Rapid Pace Walk (RPW)

Objective

  • To assess the evidence in the research literature on the association between three well-validated lower extremity physical functioning measures (SPPB, TUG, and the RPW) with driving outcomes in older adults

Methods

  • Systematic review of studies published between 1994 and 2015 that included the SPPB, TUG, or RPW as a measure of physical functioning and included a driving-related outcome
  • Thirteen studies involving 5,313 older adults met the inclusion criteria

Key Findings

  • Lower SPPB scores were associated with reduced driving exposure and increased cessation
    • Avg. frequency of trips driven per week decreased from 5.1 for those with high SPPB scores to 1.0 for those with low SPPB scores
  • Poorer RPW scores are associated with decreased driving ability in some studies and reduced driving exposure
    • RPW may be useful in studies related to driving ability and exposure
  • TUG scores are not associated with any driving outcomes, and does not appear to be a useful measure of physical functioning for the included driving

Conclusions

  • The SPPB may be useful as a risk factor assessment for identifying individuals at risk of reducing their driving exposure and driving cessation

Suggested Citation

For media inquiries, contact:

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

Authors

Thelma J. Mielenz

Columbia University

Laura Durbin

Columbia University

Jodi A. Cisewski

Columbia University

Jack M. Guralnik

University of Maryland

Guohua Li

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health