Effect of simulator training on fitness-to-drive after stroke: A 5-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial

Hannes Devos, Abiodun Emmanuel Akinwuntan, Alice Nieuwboer, Isabelle Ringoot, Karen Van Berghen, Mark Tant, Carlotte Kiekens, Willy De Weerdt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background. No long-term studies have been reported on the effect of training programs on driving after stroke. Objectives. The authorsg' primary aim was to determine the effect of simulator versus cognitive rehabilitation therapy on fitness-to-drive at 5 years poststroke. A second aim was to investigate differences in clinical characteristics between stroke survivors who resumed and stopped driving. Methods. In a previously reported randomized controlled trial, 83 stroke survivors received 15 hours of simulator training (n = 42) or cognitive therapy (n = 41). In this 5-year follow-up study, 61 participants were reassessed. Fitness-to-drive decisions were obtained from medical, visual, neuropsychological, and on-road tests; 44 participants (simulator group, n = 21; cognitive group, n = 23) completed all assessments. The primary outcome measures were fitness-to-drive decision and current driving status. Results. The authors found that 5 years after stroke, 18 of 30 participants (60%) in the simulator group were considered fit to drive, compared with 15 of 31 (48%) in the cognitive group (P =.36); 34 of 61 (56%) participants were driving. Current drivers were younger (P =.04), had higher Barthel scores (P =.008), had less comorbidity (P =.01), and were less severely depressed (P =.02) than those who gave up driving. Conclusions. The advantage of simulator-based driving training over cognitive rehabilitation therapy, evident at 6 months poststroke, had faded 5 years later. Poststroke drivers were younger and less severely affected and depressed than nondrivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-850
Number of pages8
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • automobile driving
  • randomized controlled trial
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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