Objective. This study examined adherence to home modification recommendations made by an occupational therapist and attempted to identify predictors of adherence.
Method. An experienced occupational therapist visited the homes of 178 people (mean age = 76.4 years) to evaluate for and recommend appropriate home modifications for falls prevention. One year later, a research assistant visited these persons’ homes to assess adherence.
Results. At least one home modification was recommended in 150 of the 178 homes visited. The most common recommendations were to remove mats and throw rugs (48%), to change footwear (24%), and to use a nonslip bathmat (21%). In the 121 homes revisited after 12 months, 419 home modifications had been recommended, and 216 (52%) were met with partial or complete adherence. The only significant predictors of adherence were a belief that home modifications can prevent falls and having help at home from relatives.
Conclusion. A major barrier to adherence to home modification recommendations is that many older people do not believe that home modifications can reduce their risk of falling.