Barriers to driving and psychosocial outcomes after traumatic brain injury

Gavin Sanders, Lisa J. Rapport, Jenny H. Marwitz, Thomas A. Novack, William Walker, Candace Tefertiller, Thomas K. Watanabe, Richard Kennedy, Yelena Goldin, Thomas Bergquist, Laura E. Dreer, Charles H. Bombardier, Yue Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Examine considerations and perceived barriers to return to driving, and their association with psychosocial outcomes among adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who were not driving. Methods: 174 adults with moderate-to-severe TBI enrolled in the TBI Model System participated in this cross-sectional study. All participants were drivers prior to their TBI. Outcome measures included the Barriers to Driving Questionnaire, Disability Rating Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, General Anxiety Disorder-7, and Satisfaction With Life Scale. Descriptive analyses examined considerations and barriers to driving, including differences associated with demographic characteristics. Moderation analyses investigated the extent to which disability moderated the relationship between barriers and psychosocial outcomes. Results: Social barriers were the most strongly endorsed domain, whereas physical barriers were endorsed least. The profile of endorsements differed for men and women, and for Black and White participants, on both theoretical considerations in returning to drive and experiences of barriers in doing so. Disability level moderated the relationship between barriers to driving and depression and life satisfaction, but not anxiety. Conclusion: The experience of barriers to driving is differentially associated with psychosocial outcomes among nondriving adults with TBI. Adults with low disability appear to be at risk for distress, even compared to other nondrivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023


  • Return to driving
  • barriers to driving
  • functional status
  • psychosocial
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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