Research Article
Issue Date: July/August 2021
Published Online: June 01, 2021
Updated: July 07, 2021
Environmental Modifications and Supports for Participation Among Adults Aging With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Scoping Review
Author Affiliations
  • Selena E. Washington, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO; selena.washington@health.slu.edu
  • Khalilah R. Johnson, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Jesse M. Hollenbeck, MPH, is Graduate Assistant, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO.
Article Information
Advocacy / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Home Accessibility/Environmental Modification / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Special Issue on Occupational Therapy and Disability Studies
Research Article   |   June 01, 2021
Environmental Modifications and Supports for Participation Among Adults Aging With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Scoping Review
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2021, Vol. 75, 7504180060. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.045336
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 2021, Vol. 75, 7504180060. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.045336
Abstract

Importance: Adults aging with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) continue to face barriers to participation in meaningful occupation; moreover, the increased life expectancy of adults with IDD intensifies the need for age- and environment-specific support.

Objective: To map and categorize transdisciplinary literature on environmental modifications and supports for adults aging with IDD.

Data Sources: Studies published between January 1, 2000, and January 1, 2019, identified through PubMed and Scopus.

Study Selection and Data Collection: Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria and contained information specific to occupational participation based on environmental modification (e.g., physical space, technology, universal design, type of living setting), social supports (e.g., family members, caretakers, peer groups, health care professionals, policies, organizational infrastructure), or both and adults age ≥35 yr with IDD.

Findings: Eleven studies met the criteria for this scoping review. Thematic coding was used to examine the articles within one or more themes: definition of need, environmental risk and assessment, environmental setting, intervention and program planning, use of technology, and bureaucracy.

Conclusions and Relevance: This review highlights collective and individual outcomes in the areas of assessment, intervention, and advocacy. Further research is needed within the scope of occupational therapy and disability studies that examines environmental factors and participation outcomes in this population.

What This Article Adds: The authors define the interconnectedness of adults aging with IDD and environmental factors, identify barriers to participation, and guide occupational therapy practitioners’ logic on how to positively affect environmental change and supports through intervention.