Driving performance following a wrist fracture: a pilot study using a driving simulator

Susan B. Stinton*, Evangelos Pappas, Dale W. Edgar, Niamh A. Moloney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: Driving performance, as assessed using a driving simulator, after distal radius fracture has not been previously studied. Our aims were to undertake a pilot study to assess feasibility via: (i) acceptability of driving simulation for this assessment purpose, (ii) recruitment and retention, (iii) sample size calculation. Preliminary evaluations of differences in driving performance between individuals recovering from distal radius fracture and controls were conducted to confirm if the methodology provided meaningful results to aid in justification for future studies. Methods: Driving performance of 22 current drivers (aged 21–81 years), recruited by convenience sampling, was assessed using a driving simulator. The fracture group included those recovering from distal radius fracture managed with open reduction and internal fixation using a volar plate. The control group were uninjured individuals. Assessment was performed approximately five weeks post-surgery and follow-up assessment two weeks later. Acceptability outcome measures included pain and simulator sickness scores, feasibility measures included retention rates and measures of driving performance included time spent speeding, time spent out of the lane, standard deviation of lateral position and hazard reactions. Results: The assessment was completed by 91% of participants; two participants dropped out secondary to simulator sickness. Retention rates were 83%. Preliminary results suggest those with distal radius fracture spent more time out of the lane and less time speeding. Conclusion: This method was sensitive, acceptable and feasible according to the parameters of this pilot study. The results from this small sample suggest that between-group differences in driving performance are measurable using driving simulation five weeks following distal radius fracture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-36
    Number of pages11
    JournalHand Therapy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


    • Distal radius fracture
    • driving performance
    • driving simulator
    • orthopaedics
    • wrist fracture


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