To determine the extent and nature of driving self-regulation in drivers with Parkinson disease (PD) and factors associated with self-regulatory practices.
Although people with PD have consistently been shown to have driving impairments, few studies have examined self-regulatory driving practices and their relationship to driving performance.
We used a self-report driving questionnaire to examine driving self-regulation in 37 drivers with PD and 37 healthy age-matched controls. We also analyzed factors associated with self-regulatory practices, primarily demographic, disease-related, psychological, and simulated driving performance variables.
The drivers with PD reported significantly higher rates of self-perceived decline in their driving ability (P=0.008) and driving significantly shorter distances per week (P=0.004) than controls. Unfamiliar situations (P=0.009), in-car distractions (P<0.001), low visibility conditions (P=0.004), and long journeys (P=0.003) were particularly challenging for the drivers with PD, and their pattern of driving avoidance mirrored these difficulties. The use of self-regulatory strategies among drivers with PD was associated with female sex (rho=0.42, P=0.009) and perceived decline in driving ability (rho=−0.55, P<0.001), but not with age or objective measures of disease severity, cognition, or simulated driving performance.
Drivers with PD reported driving less overall and restricting their driving to avoid particularly difficult circumstances. Further research is warranted on effective use of self-regulation strategies to improve driving performance in people with PD.