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Driving behaviors in patients with head and neck cancer during and after cancer treatment: A preliminary report

Authors

  • Hon K. Yuen PhD, OTR/L,

    Corresponding author
    1. Occupational Therapy Educational Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President St. P. O. Box 250700, Charleston, SC 29425
    • Occupational Therapy Educational Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President St. P. O. Box 250700, Charleston, SC 29425
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  • Marion B. Gillespie MD,

    1. Division of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425
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  • Terry A. Day MD,

    1. Division of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425
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  • Larissa Morgan MA,

    1. Occupational Therapy Educational Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President St. P. O. Box 250700, Charleston, SC 29425
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  • Jerry K. Burik MHS, OTR/L

    1. Occupational Therapy Educational Program, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President St. P. O. Box 250700, Charleston, SC 29425
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Abstract

Background.

The purpose of this study was to explore the driving behaviors of head and neck cancer patients during and after cancer therapy.

Methods.

Eighty-three patients completed a questionnaire related to driving behaviors.

Results.

The survey revealed that 67.5% of respondents reported that they drove less or stopped driving during cancer therapy, and 26.5% continued to drive less or stopped driving after the completion of cancer therapy. Respondents typically reported greater concern about driving and relied more on other people for transportation during and after cancer therapy than before their diagnosis. Results indicated that the odds for self-restricted driving after cancer therapy were higher for those who were more concerned about driving under challenging driving situations and perceived impaired cognitive function that affected their driving ability.

Conclusions.

These results suggest that perceived impairment resulting from cancer therapy has a significant impact on head and neck cancer patients' driving behaviors. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 2007

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