A scoping review of home modification interventions – Mapping the evidence base

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Indoor and Built Environment, 2019, 29, (3), pp. 299-310
Issue Date:
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As home-based health services emerge as a focal point of international discussions of primary healthcare, the home environment is now recognised as a place for safe and independent living, and also delivery of care. Consequently, research into how housing improvements can directly impact health and care outcomes is an increasingly important area of trans-disciplinary research. The links between health and housing are well established and indicate that housing interventions may be an important mechanism in health maintenance and improvement. Studies of home modifications have been published across a number of fields and the extent of their effects are diverse. We undertook a scoping review according to systematic PRISMA-P (Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols) guidelines to map the breadth and scale of the evidence base, identify themes and gaps in the evidence as well as grading home modifications research quality. Seventy-seven studies from 16 countries were included and revealed that home modifications evidence is measured in terms of a diverse range of effects. Seven key themes emerged including (in decreasing order); injury and falls prevention; improved function, self-care or independence; physical health and well-being; caregiving; economic effectiveness; ageing process; and social participation. The strongest experimental evidence has been conducted in relation to falls prevention.
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