The Institute of Driver Health Pty Ltd was established by Joan O’Donnell and Beth Cheal to: provide driver assessment and rehabilitation for drivers of all classes of vehicle; assist clients, family and carers to provide safe and comfortable transport for passengers with high needs; provide training for health professionals and driving instructors in driver health; and, contribute to evidence based practice for drivers with health conditions.

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Dr Joan O’Donnell

Joan O’Donnell graduated with a BAppSc(OT) and MSc(Med) at the University of Sydney and completed her PhD examining the functional outcomes of cerebrovascular neurosurgery at Macquarie University, Australia. The research investigated the quality of life and ability to drive after surgical and conservative management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms and brain arteriovenous malformations.

Joan has worked in public and private institutions in neurosurgery, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics, aged care and occupational rehabilitation. She has also worked in various management positions in quality improvement and review. Joan is a lecturer at the University of Sydney and currently teaches in the undergraduate and Masters occupational therapy courses. Joan is a driver-trained occupational therapist.

Driver Health Founder Dr. Beth Cheal

Quality of life and disability 12 months after surgery vs. conservative management for unruptured brain arteriovenous malformations: Scottish population-based and Australian hospital-based studies. Acta Neruochirurgica, 160, 559-566.

Patient functional outcomes and quality of life after microsurgical clipping for unruptured intracranial aneurysm. A prospective cohort study. Journal of Neurosurgery, Published online March 2, 2018. Doi:10.3171/2017.8.JNS171576

Comparing outcome scales for unruptured intracranial aneurysms: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 58, 56-63. doi:10.1016/j.jocn.2018.10.064

The risk of seizure following surgery for brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM): A prospective cohort study. Neurosurgery, 29:

The risk of seizure after surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms: A prospective cohort study. Neurosurgery, 0, 1–8, 2015. DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000001176

Reply to letter to the editor: Quality of life of patients affected by unruptured brain AVMs. Journal of Neurosurgery, 122 (4), 984- 986.

The risk of seizures during the in-hospital admission for surgical or endovascular treatment of unruptured intracranial  aneurysms. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 20(11), 1498-1502.

Measuring functional outcomes following surgery for unruptured, intracranial aneurysms and brain AVM’s: Vailidity and reliability of past and present instruments. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, Suppl. 60, 1-24.

Fitness to drive after surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms and brain AVMs: Pre and post treatment results on DriveSafe/DriveAware. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60, 1-50.

DriveSafe/DriveAware: A normal population test retest reliability study. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, Suppl 60, 1-50.

Dr. Beth Cheal

Beth Cheal graduated with a BAppSc(OT) and MAppSc(OT) at the University of Sydney. Beth has completed a PhD (USyd) converting DriveSafe DriveAware, a cognitive fitness to drive screen, into a touchscreen test for GPs and occupational therapist to use when screening drivers to identify those that may be at-risk due to a medical condition or age related changes.

Beth is a driver-trained occupational therapist and licensed driving instructor who has worked in driver assessment and rehabilitation at the University of Sydney and in private practice since 1999. Beth has coordinated training for occupational therapists and driving instructors in driver assessment and rehabilitation since 2006.

Driver Health Founder Dr Joan O’Donnell

Converting the DriveSafe subtest of DriveSafe DriveAware for touchscreen administration. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, (in press). doi:10.111/1440-1630.12558

Usability testing of touchscreen DriveSafe DriveAware with older adults: A cognitive fitness to drive screen. Cogent Medicine, 5, 1555785.

DriveSafe DriveAware for Touchscreen Administration Manual. Sydney, Australia: Pearson Australia Group P/L. (Published in-app).

Contribution of off-road tests to predicting on-road performance: A critical review of tests. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 59, 89-97.

DriveSafe and DriveAware: A promising new off-road test to predict on-road performance. In L. Dorn (Ed.), Driver Behaviour and Training Volume V (pp. 127 – 140). Cranfield University: Ashgate.

Older people enhancing self efficacy in fall-risk situations. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 48, 80-91.

Research and Development

Determining the impact of medical conditions, medical procedures and functional changes on the capacity to drive safely and investigating interventions to support driver health.