Psychotropic Medications and Crash Risk in Older Drivers: A Review of the Literature
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The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 23/4, 2011 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Cooper, Lisa and Meuleners, Lynn and Duke, Janine and Jancey, Jonine and Hildebrand, Janina
Objective. An extensive review of Australian and international literature was undertaken,examining the association between psychotropic medications and crash risk involving olderdrivers. Methods. The review summarizes the findings in experimental and epidemiological studiesrelated to (a) prevalence of psychotropic medication use among older drivers; (b) side effectsof driving under the influence of psychotropic medications; and (c) association between psychotropicmedications and crash risk for older drivers. Results. Current evidence indicates that severaltypes of psychotropic medications have the potential to impair driving ability and increasethe risk of crash involvement. A major limitation is that few studies have specifically examinedthe effects on older drivers, despite the fact that the majority of the population using psychotropicmedications are older. Discussion. More knowledge about the safety of therapeutic useof psychotropic medications is needed. Large-scale, whole-population, epidemiological studies,such as data linkage studies, may be the optimal study design.
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