Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 10, 2013
   Pages 1315 — 1330

Abstract — Exploratory pilot study of driving perceptions among OIF/OEF Veterans with mTBI and PTSD

Elizabeth “Lisa” M. Hannold, PhD;1* Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA;2–3 Sandra Winter, PhD, OTR/L;1–3 Desiree N. Lanford, MOT, OTR/L, CDRS;2–3 Charles E. Levy, MD1–4

1Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center, Research Enhancement Award Program, North Florida/South Georgia (NF/SG) Department of Veterans Affairs Health System (VAHS), Gainesville, FL; 2Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation, University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, Gainesville, FL; 3Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, Gainesville, FL; 4Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, NF/SG VAHS, Gainesville, FL

Abstract — Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan may experience driving-related challenges postdeployment, including more at-fault crashes. Causes may include defensive driving tactics learned for combat zones and consequences of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Tailoring driver interventions to meet Veterans’ needs requires an understanding of their driving perceptions. We explored the driving perceptions of five combat Veterans (4 men, 1 woman) with mild TBI and PTSD using grounded theory methods. Veterans participated in single, semistructured interviews during a comprehensive driving evaluation. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, verified, and imported into NVivo 8 software for coding and analysis. Veterans were insightful about driving and identified specific environmental triggers for anxious driving, speeding, and road rage. Veterans used strategies to moderate driving behaviors, but continued to drive aggressively. Themes were used to develop a conceptual framework of driving postdeployment, laying the foundation for intervention studies.

Key words: Afghanistan, automobile driving, blast injuries, brain injuries, combat disorders, Iraq, occupational therapy, qualitative research methods, stress disorders/posttraumatic, Veterans.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No.10
This article and any supplemental material should be cited as follows:
Hannold EM, Classen S, Winter S, Lanford DN, Levy CE. Exploratory pilot study of driving perceptions among OIF/OEF Veterans with mTBI and PTSD. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(10):1315–30.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.04.0084
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