The third and final screen assesses a person’s cognitive functioning. While there are various assessment options, the DriveSafe DriveAware (DSDA) assessment is regarded as the ‘gold standard’ in this field. This test has high validity and is one of the few assessments that specifically focuses on driving. The assessment looks at areas of concentration, attention, ability to follow instructions, decision-making skills, spatial awareness, and memory. For clients who have cognitive specific conditions such as brain injury, intellectual disability, or dementia, an additional assessment may also be utilised.
Examples of other cognitive assessments that may be utilized include:
- Mini Mental State Examination
- Trail Making Test
- Motor-free Visual Perception Test
- Rey Osterreith
- Clock Drawing Test
- Cognitive Behavioral Driver’s Inventory
- Stroke Drivers Screening Assessment
- Gross Impairment Screening Battery of General Physical and
- Computerized Sensory-Motor and Cognitive Test
The OT will discuss the results of the off-road assessment before proceeding to the on-road portion of the test. Any identified difficulties or deficits will be closely monitored during the on-road practical assessment.
Role of the off-road assessment
While the off-road driving assessment is an important part of the OT driving assessment as a whole, its main purpose is for the OT to obtain a baseline of the person’s physical, visual and cognitive skills and functioning. This is crucial for the OT to understand before proceeding to the driving component of the test. It is also important to note even if the person garners poor results in the off-road component, they will still usually be given the chance to proceed to the practical driving test.