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Research Article  |   November 2001
Adherence to Occupational Therapist Recommendations for Home Modifications for Falls Prevention
Author Affiliations
  • Robert G. Cumming, MB BS, PhD, is Associate Professor (Epidemiology), Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia; bobc@health.usyd.edu.au
  • Margaret Thomas, Grad DipOT, MPH, is Evaluation Officer, Health Promotion Unit, Central Sydney Area Health Service, Sydney, Australia
  • George Szonyi, MB BS, FRACP, is Geriatrician, Balmain Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  • Gina Frampton, BAppSc(OT), is Occupational Therapist, Aged Community Services Team, Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  • Glenn Salkeld, Grad Dip Health Econ, MPH, is Senior Lecturer (Health Economics), Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Lindy Clemson, MAppSc(OT), is Lecturer (Occupational Therapy), School of Occupation and Leisure Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia
Article Information
Home Accessibility/Environmental Modification / Productive Aging
Research Article   |   November 2001
Adherence to Occupational Therapist Recommendations for Home Modifications for Falls Prevention
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2001, Vol. 55, 641-648. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.6.641
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2001, Vol. 55, 641-648. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.6.641
Abstract

Objective.This study examined adherence to home modification recommendations made by an occupational therapist and attempted to identify predictors of adherence.

Method.An experienced occupational therapist visited the homes of 178 people (mean age = 76.4 years) to evaluate for and recommend appropriate home modifications for falls prevention. One year later, a research assistant visited these persons’ homes to assess adherence.

Results.At least one home modification was recommended in 150 of the 178 homes visited. The most common recommendations were to remove mats and throw rugs (48%), to change footwear (24%), and to use a nonslip bathmat (21%). In the 121 homes revisited after 12 months, 419 home modifications had been recommended, and 216 (52%) were met with partial or complete adherence. The only significant predictors of adherence were a belief that home modifications can prevent falls and having help at home from relatives.

Conclusion.A major barrier to adherence to home modification recommendations is that many older people do not believe that home modifications can reduce their risk of falling.