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ORIGINAL PAPER
Patients with epilepsy as drivers in Poland
 
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1
Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology)
2
Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland (Registration)
3
Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland (Collegium of Business Administration)
4
Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Public Health)
5
National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland (Division of Epidemiological and Environmental Safety)
6
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Occupational Diseases and Environmental Health)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Anna Staniszewska   

Medical University of Warsaw, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Banacha 1b, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-03-30
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Background: Drivers suffering from epilepsy are commonly regarded as a threat to road safety. However, inability to use their own means of transport very often implies specific professional effects and lowers the quality of life. The aim of this study was to analyze the driving status of patients with epilepsy in Poland. Material and Methods: The prospective study was performed using an independent questionnaire developed by the authors, consisting of 4 parts: 1) socio-demographic information, 2) clinical information, 3) driving information, and 4) opinions about patients with epilepsy as drivers. The study was conducted in November 2018–September 2019. A total of 188 patients completed this study. Results: More than one-quarter of the patients have a driving license. Among them, 35 individuals (accounting for 18.62% of the whole study group) said that they had received their driving license after the diagnosis of epilepsy. In 10 cases (5.32%), seizures occurred while the patients were driving and in 72 cases (38.30%) while they were traveling as passengers. Among all socio-clinical factors, having a driving license was conditioned by the marital status (p = 0.008) and education (p = 0.007). Other factors did not affect having a driving license or the time of obtaining the license (p > 0.05 for all cases). A relationship was observed between the occurrence of side effects of antiepileptic drugs and the occurrence of seizures while traveling as a car passenger (p = 0.001). Other factors did not affect the occurrence of epileptic seizures while traveling by car, either as a driver or a passenger (p > 0.05). Conclusions: A significant proportion of the respondents were of the opinion that patients with epilepsy should not be allowed to obtain a driving license, which is probably related to concerns about the occurrence of epileptic seizures while driving. It is necessary to conduct a nationwide educational and information campaign on epilepsy in various aspects. Med Pr. 2021;72(4)
eISSN:2353-1339
ISSN:0465-5893