Priority 15 from the Occupational Therapy PSP

UNCERTAINTY: How does assistive technology, compensatory equipment and housing adaptations provided through occupational therapy impact on the lives of people who access services?  (JLA PSP Priority 15)
Overall ranking 15
JLA question ID 0100/15
Explanatory note While there is some evidence addressing this question, for the most part it is based on small-scale studies and there is a recognised need to expand and further develop the evidence-base.
This question therefore aims to explore if and how occupational therapy interventions such as providing a range of assistive technologies (such as environmental controls), large and small compensatory equipment (such as wheelchairs and kettle-tippers) and recommending adaptations to homes (such as the installation of stairlifts or level-access wetrooms) make a difference to people's lives. Do people benefit from these interventions and do they enable people to live their lives more easily? 

There is some evidence addressing this question - mainly small scale studies. This question has partially been addressed in the evidence base.
Arthanat, S. and K. Vroman (2016). "A Home-Based Information Communication Technology Training for Older Adults: Effectiveness, Value, and Perspectives." American Journal of Occupational Therapy 70: 1-1.
Caminha Caro, C., et al. (2018). "The use of mobility assistive devices and the functional independence in stroke patients." Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy / Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional 26(3): 558-568.
Collins, M. E. (2018). "Occupational Therapists' Experience with Assistive Technology in Provision of Service to Clients with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias." Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics 36(2/3): 179-188.
Cunningham, B., et al. (2016). "Assessing the Psychosocial Impact of Assistive Technology in Children." American Journal of Occupational Therapy 70: 1-1.
Dwivedi, A. K. (2019). "Exploring Barriers to the Use of Assistive Technology for PWDS in India." Indian Journal of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy 13(1): 6-11.
Fallahpour, M., et al. (2015). "Participation after acquired brain injury: Associations with everyday technology and activities in daily life." Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 22(5): 366-376.
Gitlow, L., et al. (2017). "Exploring the Current Usage and Preferences for Everyday Technology among People with Serious Mental Illnesses." Occupational Therapy in Mental Health 33(1): 1-14.
Hedman, A., et al. (2017). "Everyday Technology Use Related to Activity Involvement Among People in Cognitive Decline." American Journal of Occupational Therapy 71(5): 1-8.
Jamwal, R., et al. (2017). "Electronic assistive technology used by people with acquired brain injury in shared supported accommodation: Implications for occupational therapy." British Journal of Occupational Therapy 80(2): 89-98.
Jonge, D., et al. (2016). "The aesthetic appeal of assistive technology and the economic value baby boomers place on it: A pilot study." Australian Occupational Therapy Journal 63(6): 415-423.
McGrath, C. and A. Astell (2017). "The benefits and barriers to technology acquisition: Understanding the decision-making processes of older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL)." British Journal of Occupational Therapy 80(2): 123-131.
Mohler, E. C. (2019). "Assistive technology for vision loss and beyond: Lived experience of and implications for occupational therapy practice." Occupational Therapy Now 21(6): 19-20.
Patomella, A.-H., et al. (2018). "Technology use to improve everyday occupations in older persons with mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment: A scoping review." British Journal of Occupational Therapy 81(10): 555-565.
Squires, L. A., et al. (2019). "Matching and accepting assistive technology in multiple sclerosis: A focus group study with people with multiple sclerosis, carers and occupational therapists." Journal of Health Psychology 24(4): 480-494.
Stern, B. Z. and Y. Goverover (2018). "Everyday technology use for men with multiple sclerosis: An occupational perspective." British Journal of Occupational Therapy 81(12): 709-716.
Walsh, R., et al. (2018). "Activity Engagement and Everyday Technology Use Among Older Adults in an Urban Area." American Journal of Occupational Therapy 72(4): 1-7.

Health Research Classification System category Generic Health Relevance
Extra information provided by this PSP
Original uncertainty examples What impact do major adaptations have on people’s quality of life?  ~ Why do we not respect the "meaning of home" when adapting homes for children and adults? ~ We focus on disability vs what is meaningful to the individual. ~ How can we respect "meanings of home" more? ~ Range of valid recent research about benefits of providing compensatory equipment and adaptations particularly with reference to discharge from acute medical admission ~ the efficacy of weighted equipment for children and young people in enabling them to participate in everyday activities? ~ Are adaptations done too late to really make a difference?
Submitted by Occupational therapists, Carers, Service Users, Students, People with a different interest, Other 
PSP information
PSP unique ID 0100
PSP name Occupational Therapy
Total number of uncertainties identified by this PSP. 66  (To see a full list of all uncertainties identified, please see the detailed spreadsheet held on the JLA website)
Date of priority setting workshop 27 July 2020