Date Presented 04/21/2023

This presentation describes the development and validation of the Protocol for Administering Telehealth Home Assessments (PATHS) and implications for its clinical use by OT practitioners.

Primary Author and Speaker: Cicily McBride

Contributing Authors: Jana Cason

Older populations are predicted to put a strain on our already burdened healthcare system. Encouraging older adults to age in place is a potential solution to this problem. This research study describes the development and validation of a structured protocol, the Protocol for Administering Telehealth Home aSsessments (PATHS) to provide home assessments through telehealth. This protocol assists older adults to age in place as safely and independently as possible and can be utilized by OT practitioners to overcome access barriers. A quasi-experimental, mixed-methods, one-group research design was used to validate the protocol. Participant recruitment was facilitated from referrals through a local church. Recruits had to be at least 18 years old and have access to a tablet/smart phone with videoconferencing capabilities. In total, 6 elderly participants received home safety assessments either via telehealth or in-person. Additionally, OT practitioners with expertise in telehealth home assessments provided expert review of the protocol. The telehealth home assessment protocol was developed based on a literature review, interviews with experts, the author’s clinical experience, expert review of the protocol with feedback, and surveys to capture participant feedback. A qualitative approach using interviews, field notes, and exit-surveys was used to validate the protocol. The PATHS protocol is a valid tool to provide structured telehealth home assessments. The protocol includes a checklist to determine the client’s appropriateness for telehealth, integration of a web-based home assessment tool, and supplemental information for practitioners and clients. The validation process resulted in demonstration of the feasibility of the protocol in practice and resulted in enhancements to increase its efficacy among OT practitioners. The protocol includes detailed instructions for OT practitioners to effectively administer home safety assessments through telehealth.


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