Remote Home Visit: Exploring the feasibility, acceptability and potential benefits of using digital technology to undertake occupational therapy home assessments

This article in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy reviews how home assessments are integral to the occupational therapy role, providing opportunities to personalise and integrate care. However, they are resource intensive and declining in number.

The paper shares findings from a 3-month service development within an acute hospital setting which explored the concept of using digital technology to undertake remote home assessments. The research found that the remote home visit concept was feasible within four specific contexts. Qualitative themes suggest acceptability depends on visitor safety, visitor training, visitor induction and standardisation of practice. Consultees perceived the approach to have potential for resource savings, personalisation and integration of care. Barriers to acceptance included data security, data governance, technology failure and threat to occupational therapists’ role and skills.

It concluded that applying digital technology to occupational therapy home assessment appears feasible and acceptable within a specific context. However, it recommended further research is required to develop the technology, and test and investigate perceived benefits within wider contexts and stakeholder groups.