Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Janet Jedlicka


Automobile Driving -- education; Brain Injuries; Disabled Persons -- rehabilitation; Occupational Therapy


Traumatic brain injuries are devastating occurrence accounting for nearly 10 million injuries occurring each year, with 2 million of those occurring in the United States. As these individuals progress through rehabilitation and begin to acquire independence once again, they look for opportunities to reintegrate within the communities which they live. Driving has been identified as a monumental stage of rehabilitation and is a key way to experience the community for individuals after a traumatic brain injury. This scholarly project was conducted to help occupational therapists addressing driving rehabilitation with traumatic brain injured clients and help ease some of the problems that inexperienced occupational therapists face with rehabilitative driving.

The problems that have been addressed include the limited information that is available to inexperienced occupational therapists as they deal with rehabilitative driving. Rehabilitative driving is an emerging field in occupational therapy. Many therapists will not address driving on a fulltime basis and may not have driving specializations. This guide will help those that are limited with inexperience approach driving concerns with traumatic brain injured clients.

A comprehensive literature review was conducted to support the outcome of the developed product. This research suggests that rehabilitative driving resources are needed to increase and support the evidence base on driving. The development of additional resources will provide increased access to rehabilitative driving for inexperienced occupational therapists. As the literature review progressed, it also became evident that traumatic brain injured clients are in need of rehabilitative driving services specific to their diagnosis.

Significant findings throughout the literature review include deficits currently being addressed by occupational therapists are similar to needs related to driving, clients view driving as a monumental stage in recovery, and occupational therapists are in need of increased guidelines and resources to meet driving needs for their traumatic brain injured clients. To help aid in the resolution of these findings a product has been developed that specifically addresses driving concerns of traumatic brain injured clients. Included in this product are tools and resources to aid in the stress experienced by inexperienced occupational therapists addressing rehabilitative driving. Specific evaluation tools have been developed to evaluate both on and off-road evaluations. The off-road evaluation tool is a semi-structured interview that addresses specific details related to driving and the history of the clients driving experiences. The on-road evaluation provides a checklist that will aid in the behind-the-wheel driving assessment.