Date of Paper/Work

1-2017

Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy

Department

Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Catherine Sullivan

Abstract

The purpose of this collaborative study between Rebuilding Together Twin Cities (RTTC) and the OT department of St. Catherine University was to evaluate the impact of home modifications on the occupational participation and safety of low-income, older adult homeowners. This study utilized a mixed methods design to answer the following three research questions: 1) How do daily life routines and activity participation change for the homeowner as a result of the modifications? 2) What is the impact on the homeowner’s awareness and feelings of safety? and 3) What is the homeowners’ experience of home modification? A total of four quantitative tools were used to answer these questions including the

In-Home Occupational Performance Evaluation (I-HOPE), Life Space Assessment (LSA), Short Falls Efficacy Scale (S-FES), and Live Well at Home Rapid Screen (LWAH-RS). Semi-structured interviews were also conducted to collect qualitative data for additional interpretation. A total of 15 low-income older adult homeowners completed the study and met participation criterion. Statistical analysis showed significant improvements in occupational participation in valued daily activities for the I-HOPE, as well as clinically significant decreases in fear of falling for the S-FES and risk of long-term care placement for the LWAH-RS. Scores for the LSA did not show clear improvements when compared to baseline. The positive findings suggest that home modifications involving occupational therapists can improve occupational participation and safety for low-income older adult homeowners. Qualitative results revealed themes of increased independence and accessibility, improved community relationships and occupational activities, and increased hope to remain aging in place.

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