Environmental barriers and housing accessibility problems for people with Parkinson’s disease: A three-year perspective

Scand J Occup Ther. 2021 Dec 6:1-12. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2021.2007998. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Although housing accessibility is associated with important health outcomes in other populations, few studies have addressed this in a Parkinson’s disease population.

AIM: To determine the most severe environmental barriers in terms of housing accessibility problems and how these evolved over 3 years among people with Parkinson’s disease.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 138 participants were included (men = 67%; mean age = 68 years). The most severe environmental barrier were identified by the Housing Enabler instrument and ranked in descending order. The paired t-test was used to analyse changes in accessibility problems over time.

RESULTS: The top 10 barriers remained largely unchanged over 3 years, but with notable changes in order and magnitude. ‘No grab bar in hygiene area’ and ‘Stairs only route’ were top-ranked in generating accessibility problems at baseline but decreased significantly (p = 0.041; p = 0.002) at follow-up. ‘Difficulties to reach refuse bin’ was top-ranked at follow-up, with a significant increase (p < 0.001) of related accessibility problems.

CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The new knowledge about how accessibility problems evolve over time could be used by occupational therapists to recommend more effective housing adaptations taking the progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease into account. On societal level, the results could be used to address accessibility problems systematically.

PMID:34871133 | DOI:10.1080/11038128.2021.2007998

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