Communicating with Older Drivers: A Web-based Course

Period of Performance: 08/01/2006 - 07/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEW England Research Institutes, Inc.
Watertown, MA 02472
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This SBIR proposes to develop and evaluate a Web-based, CME-approved program in doctor-patient communication about driving cessation. The program will provide information about provider-older patient communication, the epidemiology of and risk factors for driving mishaps, and will teach practitioners effective communication strategies to use with their older patients when discussing driving safety and cessation. The Specific Aims of Phase I were to: 1) develop a content outline for the full program; 2) develop the design and format of the Web-based program; 3) Develop a script and storyboard for a prototype chapter; 4) production of this prototype chapter on the Web; 5) conduct a feasibility evaluation of the prototype; and 6) develop a plan and schedule for production of the full- length program and CME accreditation in Phase II. These Phase I Aims were achieved. Importantly, the Phase I evaluation established the feasibility of the program and the testing methodology. Knowledge about older driver issues improved on average 25% (ES=1.6) for the physician participants. The Specific Aims of Phase II include: 1) development of content for the full program (10 chapters); 2) based on this material, writing the script and storyboard for the content for each chapter; 3) production of the Web-based program; 4) evaluation of the CME program's effectiveness; and 5) dissemination of the CME program on NERI's E-commerce Website. The objectives of the completed CME program are to increase physician knowledge about issues of driving safety for older adults and to improve communication skills with patients and family about these issues. The effectiveness of the CME program in achieving these objectives will be tested with a pre/posttest design including knowledge questions and audiotaped interviews with a standardized patient. The sample will consist of primary care physicians, the target user sample of the final product, identified through the AMA Physician Masterfile. This project involves close collaboration of NERI, the Boston University School of Medicine, and expert consultants in the field of older drivers and risk factors for auto crashes. The Web-based program will be marketed as a CME product for physicians through NERI's E-commerce Website and the Boston University School of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education.