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Occasional Research Papers

HMinfo Occasional Research Papers are individually commissioned research papers on existing or emerging issues in home design and home modifications for older people, for people with disability, or for carers. Read more

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Information Needs of Occupational Therapists Practicing in NSW

Authors: Fiona Cowell, Catherine Bridge, & Stephanie Mathews
Published: 1st July 2007
Audience: Authors, Government/NGOs/Peaks, Industry, Librarians/Researchers/Students
ISBN: 1 86487 771 5


This research examined the home modification information needs of occupational therapists in New South Wales. Increasing numbers of people with disabilities and a growing trend toward making it possible for people with disabilities to remain in their homes have created a growing need for home modification services. Occupational therapists typically are responsible for determining what home modifications are appropriate. Indeed, government funding for home modifications is only available after an occupational therapist has made recommendations. Identifying therapists’ home modification information needs is important so that the gaps in their knowledge may be filled. All participants in this study were occupational therapists practicing in New South Wales who devoted at least part of their practice to home modification.

Publication History

1st edition HomeModification Information Needs of Occupational Therapists Practicing in NSW by Fiona Cowell, Catherine Bridge, & Stephanie Mathews, Month July 2007.  Reprinted May 2007

Table of Contents


Publication History  2

Introduction  6

1.1 Project Aims  6

1.2 Background  6

2. Methodology  11

2.1 Phase 1: Exploration  11

2.1 Phase 2: Data Collection  12

2.1.1 Sampling Frame  12

2.1.2 Interview Process  13

2.1.3 Interview Schedule  14

2.1.4 Theoretical Sensitivity  15

2.2 Phase 3: Dissemination  16

3.Thematic analysis  16

3.1 Spatial requirements  16

3.1.1 Client-Specific Measurements  17

3.1.2 Australian Standards  17

3.1.3 Scaled Drawings  18

3.1.4 Carer requirements  18

3.2 Requirements for community inclusion  20

3.2.1 Requirements for meeting standards of care  20

3.2.2 Disability access components  23

3.3 Funding policy  23

3.4 Building and land regulation  25

3.5 Natural environment 25

3.6 Built environment 25

3.7 Other Education  26

3.7.1 Assessment Process  28

3.7.2 Understaffing  29

3.7.3 Client Collaboration  30

3.7.4 Communication with Home Modification Services  30

4. Summary of findings  32

4.1 Specific Information Needs  32

4.2 Collaboration with Clients and Carers  33

4.3 Modification Installation  33

4.3.1 Communication with Service Providers  33

4.3.2 Staffing  34

4.3.3 Assessment Process  35

4.3.4 Filling the Information Gap  35

References  37

APPENDIX A: Invitation to participate  41

APPENDIX B: Ethical consent 42

APPENDIX C: Interview Framework  43


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