Impact of Driving Cessation on Trajectories of Life-Space Scores Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Carrie Huisingh, Emily B Levitan, Patricia Sawyer, Richard Kennedy, Cynthia J Brown, Gerald McGwin
Journal of Applied Gerontology: the Official Journal of the Southern Gerontological Society 2017, 36 (12): 1433-1452
The purpose of this study was to examine the trajectories of life-space before and after the transition to driving cessation among a diverse sample of community-dwelling older adults. Life-space scores and self-reported driving cessation were assessed at annual visits from baseline through Year 6 among participants in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging. Approximately 58% of older adults reported having stopped driving during the 6 years of follow-up. After adjusting for potential confounders, results from a random intercept model indicate that mean life-space scores decreased about 1 to 2 points every year ( p = .0011) and approximately 28 points at the time of driving cessation ( p < .0001). The rate of life-space decline post driving cessation was not significantly different from the rate of decline prior to driving cessation. Driving cessation was associated with a precipitous decline in life-space score; however, the driving cessation event did not accelerate the rate of life-space decline.

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