The Rookwood Driving Battery: Normative older adult performance

Janice Rees, Pat McKenna, Vaughan Bell, Emily Skucek, E. Nichols, Paul Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The current study aimed to obtain older adult normative data on a neuropsychological battery in relation to functions underlying driving ability. The effect of age on performance on the battery was previously unknown; normative data revision was necessary to enable more appropriate use of the battery with older clients.

Design: Cross-sectional cohort study.

Methods: Volunteers were sought from healthy older people living independently in the community to complete the Rookwood Driving Battery. A group of 202 volunteers above the age of 70 were recruited from local social groups to complete the battery. Of these, 184 completed a screening test of cognitive integrity (Mini Mental State Examination, MMSE). The age ranged from 70 to 96 (mean age=81 years, SD = 5.438). In the total sample, 155 (77%) were females.

Results: Results of the MMSE indicated that 161 (87.5%) of the group fell above a cut-off (25/30) typically used in epidemiological studies to identify age-related cognitive decline. Of these cognitively intact volunteers, performance was marked by higher battery error scores (mean=5.12, SD = 3.75) than those observed in an earlier normative study using younger volunteers below 70 years of age (mean=1.41, SD = 1.87). The two age groups differed significantly on all 10 battery subtests; in all cases the level of significance was .002 or less; for nine subtests, significance fell below .001. In the ‘intact’ older group, battery performance was observed to be closely related to score on the MMSE, a test of general cognitive integrity (r = .558, p = .01).

Conclusions: Performance on the Rookwood Battery differs for the over 70s and under 70s. The authors suggest essential modifications in its use with older people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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