Diabetes and driving recommendations among healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia. A significant gap that requires action

Mohammed A. Batais, Ayedh K. Alamri, Mohammed A. Alghammass, Omar A. Alzamil, Badr A. Almutairi, Nassr Al-Maflehi, Turky H. Almigbal


Objectives:To assess healthcare providers’ knowledge and awareness of the recommendations for drivers with insulin-treated diabetes in Saudi Arabia. 

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among healthcare providers working at 4 tertiary hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between April 2016 and December 2016 using a self-administered questionnaire. 

Results: A total of 285 healthcare providers completed the survey (response rate 88.5%). Most (70.2%) were aware of the safe driving recommendations for patients with insulin-treated diabetes. However, the need to check blood glucose levels before driving was underestimated by almost one-third (30.2%). Only one-quarter (24.6%) identified the correct level of blood glucose level that is safe for a patient when driving, and 28.4% identified the recommended time for checking blood glucose before driving. Participants who were aware of the recommendations for safe driving had a significantly higher average knowledge score (68.8%) than those who were not aware (58.8%; p less than 0.001). There was a significant difference in the average knowledge score among medical specialties (p=0.002) and job levels (p less than 0.001). 

Conclusions: Most healthcare providers identified the importance of evaluating their patients for ability to drive safely, but we found some important areas of knowledge deficit. Professional intervention to improve healthcare providers’ awareness and knowledge regarding diabetes and driving is the first step in improving detection and reporting high-risk drivers with diabetes to prevent future driving mishaps.


Saudi Med J 2018; Vol. 39 (4): 386-394
doi: 10.15537/smj.2018.4.22179

How to cite this article:
Batais MA, Alamri AK, Alghammass MA, Alzamil OA, Almutairi BA, Al-Maflehi N, Almigbal TH. Diabetes and driving recommendations among healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia. A significant gap that requires action.  Saudi Med J. 2018 Apr;39(4):386-394. doi: 10.15537/smj.2018.4.22179.


Diabetes; driving; insulin therapy; healthcare providers; awareness; and knowledge

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