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Thread: Paralyzed People's Skills Predict Driving Ability

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Paralyzed People's Skills Predict Driving Ability

    Paralyzed People's Skills Predict Driving Ability
    By Charnicia E. Huggins

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who are paralyzed from the trunk down and have limited arm movement may be eager to drive, but often don't know if they are able to, researchers report. And most healthcare professionals lack guidelines for evaluating their driving ability. Now new study findings suggest that a person's ability to move independently from the wheelchair to the toilet strongly predicts whether he or she can drive a car.

    ``Toilet transfer ability would be a straightforward and reliable indicator for drivers' training,'' lead study author Dr. Yoshifumi Kiyono of East Nagano National Hospital in Japan told Reuters Health.

    To investigate, Kiyono and his colleagues conducted a study from 1977 to 1997 that included 62 individuals with lower-body paralysis (tetraplegia). Twenty-eight had undergone reconstructive surgery on one or both hands, while 18 had elbow extension reconstruction on one or both arms. All received driving instruction in specially equipped cars, but only 33 were able to drive either independently or with some assistance.

    Patients' ability to transfer from a wheelchair to a toilet almost paralleled their driving ability, Kiyono and his team report in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The ability to transfer from a wheelchair to a bed or bathtub, and the ability to dress the lower body were other daily living activities associated with driving ability.

    For example, 27 of the 31 (87%) people who could perform toilet transfers independently could drive without assistance, while about 77% of individuals who could independently dress their lower body were able to drive on their own.

    Driving ability decreased, however, with increasing age and increasing severity of spinal cord injuries, the report indicates.

    The study participants' ability to drive independently was also related to their later occupational status and sports participation, the researchers report. For example, 7 out of 10 individuals who were able to drive without any assistance reported having a regular or irregular job at follow-up, such as self-employment, computer data entry and public service. And half of the independent drivers said they participated in a sport such as basketball, road racing or tennis.

    ``Evaluation of car driving abilities as well as driver's training should be added to the rehabilitation program for people with tetraplegia, (particularly) because driving ability is an important factor that allows tetraplegic individuals to participate in work and sports-related activities,'' Kiyono said.

    SOURCE: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82:1389

  2. #2

    so does that mean

    you have to replace the car seat with a toilet and drive while sitting on the it?

    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    LOL, Curtis

    Maybe they could do their BP in traffic on the way to work.

    I'm wondering what special equipment they have in Japan. I've known plenty of C5s who drove. One guy tilted sideways in his chair while driving and not being able to right himself went off the road. But, that's the only problem I've ever heard of. And none of these guys could transfer. This study is suspect to me because even some of those who could transfer couldn't drive. I find that surprising to say the least.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rick1's Avatar
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    What a ridiculous correlation

    I wonder how much money was wasted on this "study".

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    "Toilet transfer ability would be a straightforward and reliable indicator for drivers' training,'' lead study author Dr. Yoshifumi Kiyono of East Nagano National Hospital in Japan told Reuters Health."
    Bullshit. I know plenty of people who drive but can't transfer to a toilet. Another example of ABs assuming they have a clue.

    ~Rus

    "We are not brave because we are free. We are free because we are brave." ~ Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo / Sick Speed)

  6. #6
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    im sure someone will justify this research. we should be honored these researchers are doing such studies. how dare anyone speak against it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Actually, DA

    The money they're saving on driving evals in Japan is funding a new, chronic OEG trial for contusion injuries. They've found that the disruption to the cord when they open up the dura and remove the glial scar kicks in "acute mode," and when combined with neurotrophines the OEG are yielding 75% success. Followup treatment includes intrathecal administration of various Inosine analogs that apparently cause massive sprouting of the newly regenerated nerve fibers. Innervation rates are astounding the Neurology community. They only wish they'd started the driving study a decade ago.

    Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

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