Driving Intervention for Returning Combat Veterans: Interim Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Published: March 1st, 2017

Category: Peer Reviewed Publications

Classen, S., Winter, S.M., Monahan, M., Lutz, A., Platek, K., & Yarney, A. (2017). Driving Intervention for Returning Combat Veterans: Interim Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 37(2), 62-71. doi:10.1177/1539449216675582

Combat Veterans are at an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes following deployment due to battlemind driving and polytrauma. Our randomized controlled trial examined the efficacy of a simulator-based occupational therapy driving intervention (OT-DI) compared to a standard traffic safety education (TSE) course. Combat Veterans from the North Florida/South Georgia regions, with polytrauma, valid driver’s license, and potential to follow safety recommendations were included in this study. During baseline and post-testing, driving performance errors were measured using a DriveSafety CDS-250 high-fidelity simulator. Participants in the intervention group received three OT-DI sessions addressing driving errors and visual-search retraining, whereas participants in the control group received three TSE sessions addressing personal factors and defensive driving. Interim analysis using the Wilcoxon rank-sign test, indicated that driving errors were significantly reduced in the OT-DI group, both when comparing Post Test 1 to baseline, and when compared to the TSE group. Results of this study support the efficacy of the OT-DI.