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Do healthcare providers assess for risk factors and talk to patients about return to driving after a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)? Findings from the 2020 DocStyles Survey
  1. Kelly Sarmiento1,
  2. Dana Waltzman1,
  3. David Wright2
  1. 1 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Injury Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2 Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Ms. Kelly Sarmiento, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA; KSarmiento{at}


Background There is a dearth of information and guidance for healthcare providers on how to manage a patient’s return to driving following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

Methods Using the 2020 DocStyles survey, 958 healthcare providers were surveyed about their diagnosis and management practices related to driving after an mTBI.

Results Approximately half (52.0%) of respondents reported routinely (more than 75% of the time) talking with patients with mTBI about how to safely return to driving after their injury. When asked about how many days they recommend their patients with mTBI wait before returning to driving after their injury: 1.0% recommended 1 day or less; 11.7% recommended 2–3 days; 24.5% recommended 4–7 days and 45.9% recommended more than 7 days. Many respondents did not consistently screen patients with mTBI for risk factors that may affect their driving ability or provide them with written instructions on how to safely return to driving (59.7% and 62.6%, respectively). Approximately 16.8% of respondents reported they do not usually make a recommendation regarding how long patients should wait after their injury to return to driving.

Conclusions Many healthcare providers in this study reported that they do not consistently screen nor educate patients with mTBI about driving after their injury. In order to develop interventions, future studies are needed to assess factors that influence healthcare providers behaviours on this topic.

  • concussion
  • traumatic brain injury
  • injury diagnosis
  • motor vehicle - non traffic
  • motor vehicle � occupant

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to this work and agree with the publication of this manuscript in Injury Prevention.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.