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Brunnauer, Alexander; Buschert, Verena; Segmiller, Felix; Zwick, Sarah; Bufler, Johannes; Schmauss, Max; Messer, Thomas; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Frommberger, Ulrich; Bartl, Helga; Steinberg, Reinhard; Laux, Gerd (2016): Mobility behaviour and driving status of patients with mental disorders - an exploratory study. In: International Journal of Psychiatry In Clinical Practice, Vol. 20, No. 1: pp. 40-46
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Abstract

Background Driving is an important activity of daily life and an integral part of mobility. However, impact of mental illness on road mobility is widely unexplored. Method Driving status in 1497 psychiatric inpatients (PPs) and a clinical control group of 313 neurological inpatients (NPs) was investigated using a brief questionnaire. Results 67% of PPs (89% NPs) reported to have a valid driver's licence and 77% of them (92% NPs) reported to regularly use their cars. Within driver's license holders, patients with organic mental disorder (32%), substance dependence (37%) and psychotic disorder (40%) had the lowest proportion of current drivers. Higher educational qualification (odds ratio [OR] from 2.978 to 17.036) and being married/partnered (OR 3.049) or divorced (OR 4.840) significantly advanced the probability of possession of a driving license. Predictive factors for driving cessation were being female, an older age, drawing a pension and having an organic mental disease or schizophrenic disorder. Conclusion Mental disease has a negative impact on driving status and this is especially true for illnesses frequently being accompanied by distinct cognitive impairments. Factors predicting road mobility elucidate the strong relationship with psychosocial status indicating that recovery of driving competence should be an integral goal of treatment strategies.