Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes changes in brain function, as well as physical and emotional problems which can be permanent. Of major importance for the social and professional reintegration of people having sustained a TBI is the possibility to drive.
The majority of individuals with TBI is under 40 years of age, which makes this autonomy all the more important from psychological, social, and economic points of view. This is why return to driving is usually part of the evaluation and intervention objectives during the rehabilitation process. However, we know little about driving abilities and behaviours in the years following a TBI, in particular for those who were deemed fit to drive. We also have little information on clinical evaluation and training practices for return to driving that are presently being used in the province's rehabilitation centers.
We propose a study to be conducted within these rehabilitation centers' driving evaluation programs. The objectives are: 1) To evaluate 2-3 years following resumption of automobile driving, the driving behaviors of people with TBI having been evaluated, during rehabilitation, as fit to drive, in comparison to those of a non neurological control group; 2) To describe via two surveys the rehabilitation centers' current practices in terms of evaluation and retraining for automobile driving following TBI; 3) To hold two focus groups with the programs on these current practices.
This innovative study will provide documentation of these variables which are so important for the social participation of these individuals, permit the adaptation of clinical practices in regards to the results obtained, and support rehabilitation centers and stakeholders in their decision processes in regards to the services offered to this clinical population, in particular within Québec's trauma continuum of care.