A research-based strategy for managing housing adaptations: study protocol for a quasi-experimental trial

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Background: The primary aim of this paper is to describe the design of a project evaluating the effects of using a research-based strategy for managing housing adaptations (HAs). The evaluation targets clients' perspectives in terms of activity, participation, usability, fear of falling, fall incidence, use of mobility devices, and health-related quality of life, and determines the societal effects of HAs in terms of costs. Additional aims of the project are to explore and describe this strategy in relation to experiences and expectations (a) among clients and cohabitants and (b) occupational therapists in ordinary practice. Methods/design: This study is a quasi-experimental trial applying a multiphase design, combining quantitative and qualitative data. At the experimental sites, the occupational therapists (OTs) apply the intervention, i.e. a standardized research-based strategy for HA case management. At the control site, the occupational therapists are following their regular routine in relation to HA. Three municipalities in south Sweden will be included based on their population, their geographical dispersion, and their similar organizational structures for HA administration. Identical data on outcomes is being collected at all the sites at the same four time points: before the HA and then 3, 6, and 12 months after the HA. The data-collection methods are semi-structured qualitative interviews, observations, clinical assessments, and certificates related to each client's HA. Primary outcomes are the usability of the home and the client's independence in daily activities (ADL). Cross-sectional and longitudinal data analyses will be conducted as well as statistical analyses, health-economic analyses, and qualitative analyses. Qualitative and quantitative data will be sequentially analyzed, and case studies will be developed. Discussion: The intervention in this study has been developed and tested through many years of research and in collaboration with practitioners. This process includes methodological development and testing research aimed at identifying the most important outcomes and research targeting current HA case-management procedures in Swedish municipalities. When the study is completed, the results will be used for further optimization of the practice strategy for HA, in close collaboration with the data-collecting OTs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number602
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Free keywords

  • Context
  • Disability
  • Health care
  • Occupational therapy
  • Health-economic
  • evaluation


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