Prof Norman Delanty, Beaumont Hospital & Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Dr Stephen Klaus, Beaumont Hospital & Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
€15,000 for duration of the project to end 2021
About the Project:
Driving restriction is commonly stated as one of the most significant negative aspects of an epilepsy diagnosis. Patients with epilepsy represent a substantial portion of the population facing driving restriction for medical reasons. However, the effect of driving restriction on the Irish epilepsy patient population is not well documented.
The study will examine the impact of an imposed driving restriction on a cohort of epilepsy patients attending a tertiary referral centre at the Epilepsy programme at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. This will include the following specific objectives as listed below:
- To examine the degree of societal impact on patients and their families caused by driving restrictions. This will include patients’ views on the restriction, financial impact, perceived social stigma, loss of employment and/or breakdown of personal relationships.
- To examine alternative transport means utilized by patients during driving restriction including the use of public transportation and patient’s family members.
- To explore patient’s views on the potential availability of access to the Free Travel Pass scheme. Many patients may benefit from access to the Free Travel Pass Scheme if provided during the period of driving restriction.
- To identify and compare the number of Group 1 and Group 2 drivers within the patient cohort.
- To identify patients working as taxi drivers, and how they have been affected by driving restrictions.
- To examine the doctor-patient relationship after the implementation of driving restriction. Specifically, patients’ views on the medical staff informing them of restriction and whether second opinion and/or alternative care was sought.
We hope that the valuable data gathered from this study will guide Epilepsy Ireland in our ongoing advocacy. It will also provide insight and foster increased understanding among clinicians, policy makers and the public on the issues faced by people with epilepsy during imposed driving restrictions.