The Traffic Injury Research Foundation USA, Inc. (TIRF USA), in partnership with TIRF in Canada, with funding from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, developed and evaluated an educational resource to help prescribing health care professionals (HCPs) talk to patients about the impairing effects of prescribed pain medication and the risks associated with driving. Focus groups with prescribing HCPs from Washington University medical campus and with pain medication patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis (TRISL). Results demonstrated there is a need among HCPs and patients to be better informed about the impairing effects of prescription medication on driving, and showed HCPs and patients were receptive to using supporting tools to help facilitate communication about this issue.
These findings were used to inform the development of the educational resource, consisting of a Smartphone App for HCPs, called the DiDRxChecker. Evaluation of the educational resource suggested patients exposed to the resource feel better informed, have receptive attitudes and health beliefs about the potentially impairing effects of prescription pain medication on driving, and are more inclined to adopt protective behaviours compared to patients not exposed to the DiDRxChecker. These results are promising and indicate the resource may help facilitate the communication of risk between HCPs and patients.