Conference Proceeding

Effect of Simulator Training on Driving After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Abiodun Emmanuel Akinwuntan (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • Willy De Weerdt (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • Hilde Feys (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • Jan Pauwels (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • Guido Baten (Belgian Road Safety Institute, Brussels, Belgium)
  • Patricia Arno (Belgian Road Safety Institute, Brussels, Belgium)
  • Carlotte Kiekens (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)


Neurologically impaired persons seem to benefit from drivingtraining programs, but there is no convincing evidence to support this notion. Wetherefore investigated the effect of simulator-based training on driving afterstroke. Eighty-three first ever sub-acute stroke patients entered a 5-week, 15-hourtraining program in which they were randomly allocated to either an experimental(simulator-based training) or control (driving-related cognitive tasks) group.Performance in off-road evaluations and an on-road test were used to assess thedriving ability of subjects pre- and post-training. Outcome of an official predrivingassessment administered 6 to 9 months post stroke were also considered.Both groups significantly improved in a visual and many neuropsychologicalevaluations and in the on-road test after training. There were no significantdifferences between both groups in improvements from pre- to post-trainingexcept in the “road sign recognition test,” in which the experimental subjectsimproved more. Statistically significant improvements in the three-class decision(“fit to drive,” “temporarily unfit to drive” and “unfit to drive”) were found infavor of the experimental group. Academic qualification and overall disabilitytogether determined subjects who benefited most from the simulator-baseddriving training. Significantly more experimental subjects (73%) than controls(42%) passed the follow-up official pre-driving assessment and were legallyallowed to resume driving. We concluded that simulator-based driving trainingwas a better method, especially for well educated and less disabled stroke patients. However, the findings of the study may have been modified as a resultof the large number of dropouts and the possibility of some neurological recoveryunrelated to training.

How to Cite:

Akinwuntan, A. & De Weerdt, W. & Feys, H. & Pauwels, J. & Baten, G. & Arno, P. & Kiekens, C., (2005) “Effect of Simulator Training on Driving After Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial”, Driving Assessment Conference 3(2005), 295-296. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2005 the author(s)

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Published on
29 Jun 2005
Peer Reviewed