Home assessments conducted by occupational therapists can identify hazards and prevent falls. However, they may not be conducted because of limited time or long distances between the therapist’s workplace and the person’s home. Developments in technologies may overcome such barriers and could improve the quality of the home assessment process.
This scoping review synthesises the findings of studies evaluating information and communication technology use within occupational therapy home assessments.
Fourteen studies were included and revealed the two main approaches to technology use: the development of new applications and the use of existing and readily available technologies. Facilitators and barriers to use were also identified. Facilitators included usefulness, ease of use and the potential for cost-effectiveness. Barriers to use included poor usability, unsuitability for some populations and perceived threat to the role of occupational therapy. The synthesis revealed that traditional in-home assessments conducted by therapists are more sensitive in identifying hazards.
The availability of new technologies offers potential to improve service delivery; however these technologies are underutilised in clinical practice. Technologies may offer advantages in the conduct of home assessments, especially regarding efficiency, but have not yet been shown to be superior in terms of patient outcome.