Understanding the dimensions of home that impact on home modification decision making

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The home environment is a multidimensional and personally meaningful place, and the complexity of this environment often impacts on the home modification process and outcomes. Home modifications can appear as a straightforward solution to safety and occupational performance concerns; nevertheless, clients sometimes reject modifications or are unsatisfied with the completed works. To understand this phenomenon, this study aimed to determine what aspects of the home environment impact home modification decision making.


In this qualitative descriptive study, 42 in-depth interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire were undertaken and analysed using a template analysis. The interviews explored the experience of the home modification process, including concerns and the decisions made about the modifications.


Four dimensions of the home environment were commonly found to affect decision making namely, the personal, societal, physical and temporal dimensions of home as well as social and occupational dimensions.


An understanding of the dimensions of home that impact decision making provides occupational therapists with a greater appreciation of the experience of home and allows them to enhance the effectiveness and acceptance of home modifications.

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