Frequently Asked Questions.
What is this research study about?
This research study will follow 1000 older drivers in 7 Canadian cities for five years. In addition to recording their driving habits using an in-car computerized monitoring device, study participants will undergo yearly comprehensive assessments that will help determine the factors that make older persons safe and not safe to drive. A major objective of the study will be the development of a screening tool that physicians can use to determine who amongst their older patients is safe and not safe to drive.
Why do this research study?
Persons over the age of 65 year are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population. This has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of older persons holding driver's licenses. Given that many health-related conditions that affect driving are more common in older age groups, it is not surprising that, of all age groups, those over 70 years of age have the highest motor vehicle crash rate per mile driven. However, on the other side of the coin, the loss of driving privileges for individuals can increase dependency, with the need for increased community support, and contribute to the loss of self-esteem. Determining a fair way of deciding who, amongst older drivers, is safe and not safe to drive is the focus of this research study.
Who is being studied?
Any persons who meet the following criteria are eligible for the study:
- are 70 years or age or older;
- are holders of a valid General class (5) driver's license and actively driving for at least 1 year;
- have vehicle access: Owners of, or have regular (unrestricted) access to vehicles that they can drive;
- are active drivers, driving at least once a week;
- reside in the local regions of Victoria, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton or Montreal;
- consent to release their personal driving record information from the provincial Ministry of Transportation for the duration of the study;
- agree to undergo annual comprehensive physical and cognitive assessments in a local community/hospital clinic, and to be contacted at least quarterly for data pick up and interview;
- are under the care of a family physician or primary health care group in order that health care concerns related to driving that develop during the course of the study can be followed up appropriately;
- have a primary vehicle for driving that is model year 1996 or newer, which is a requirement for use of the in-car electronic monitoring device;
- are expected to live for the duration of the study (5 years); and
- are fluent in English.
All members of the public who meet the eligibility criteria are invited to participate.
In addition, in partnership with the following organizations, some members of the Federal Superannuates National Association (FSNA), the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), the Municipal Retirees Organization of Ontario (MROO) and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) will receive personal invitations to participate in the study.
What is being done in the study?
This study will follow a group of older drivers for 5 years. A comprehensive assessment including a set of physical, behavioral and mental factors that may be associated with crashing will be completed by study participants at the beginning of the study and yearly after that. No blood tests or X-rays are required. The study participants will be followed for crashes (as determined by self- report and Ministry of Transportation databases), traffic violations, and driving cessation. A major objective of the study will be the development of a screening tool that physicians can use to determine who amongst their older patients is safe and not safe to drive. Other information that will be gained from the study includes determining the usual driving patterns of older persons.
What are the study timelines?
Recruitment of participants for the study will start in June 2009 and continue for one year. The study will end in June 2014.
The results of the study will be available approximately one year after the study is completed (June 2015).
Who is paying for this research study?
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (www.cihr.ca), a branch of the Federal Government is paying for this study.
Who are the leaders of this research study?
The co-principal investigators of the study are:
Drs. Shawn Marshall and Malcolm Man-Son-Hing (University of Ottawa).
Site investigators for the study are:
Victoria: Dr Holly Tuokko (University of Victoria)
Winnipeg: Dr Michelle Porter (University of Manitoba)
Thunder Bay: Dr. Michel Bédard (Lakehead University)
Hamilton: Dr Brenda Vrkljan (McMaster University)
Toronto: Drs Gary Naglie and Mark Rapoport (University of Toronto)
Ottawa: Drs. Shawn Marshall and Malcolm Man-Son-Hing (University of Ottawa)
Montreal: Drs Nicol Korner-Bitensky and Isabelle Gélinas (McGill University)
How can I learn more about participation in this research study?
For more information about the study, please contact:
Jennifer Biggs, RN or Anita Jessup, RN, BA at 1-866-233-1133 (toll free)
Candrive acknowledges the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada for providing this FAQ template