Self-reporting by unsafe drivers is, with education, more effective than mandatory reporting by doctors

Elgar, Nathan J., Esterman, Adrian J., Antic, Nick A., and Smith, Brian J. (2016) Self-reporting by unsafe drivers is, with education, more effective than mandatory reporting by doctors. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 12 (3). pp. 293-299.

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Abstract

Study Objectives: Health professionals are frequently required to report to relevant authorities all drivers who are potentially unsafe due to medical conditions. We aimed to assess both the effect of mandatory reporting (MR) on patient self-predicted behavior and what factors might encourage unsafe drivers to self-report to these authorities.

Methods: We included 5 questions in the South Australian Health Omnibus Survey, an annual, community based, face-to-face survey. We asked (1) how subjects would behave towards their doctor in light of MR if they believed their licences were at risk due to a medical condition; and (2) which factor(s) would cause them to self-report to the same authorities.

Results: Responses to 3,007 surveys (response rate 68.5%, age 15-98) showed that 9.0% would avoid diagnosis, lie to their doctor, or doctor shop in order to keep their licence; 30.8% were unaware of the legislated requirement to self-report; and 37.9% were unaware of potentially jeopardizing insurance support if they failed to comply. If educated in these 2 areas, warned about the dangers of driving against medical advice and instructed to do so by their doctor, then 95.8% of people would self-report to the authorities, a number significantly higher than could be reported by their doctors (91.0%).

Conclusions: MR causes 9.0% of people to predict to behave towards their doctor in a manner that reduces road safety. With education and encouragement to do so, more people will self-report to the authorities than could be reported by their doctors via the MR pathway.

Item ID: 46175
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: mandatory reporting, automobile driving, confidentiality, education, safety
ISSN: 1550-9397
Funders: Philips Respironics, ResMed, Fisher and Paykl, Compumedics, SomnoMed, GSK
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2016 23:34
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920403 Disability and Functional Capacity @ 50%
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