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The effectiveness of home modifications on the risk of falling in older adults with dementia: A randomized clinical trial

Introduction: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of modifying the home environment on falls in older adults with dementia. Methods: In this single-blind clinical trial study, 44 older adult patients with dementia who met the inclusion criteria, were included in the study and then randomly assigned to intervention ( n = 22) and control ( n = 22) groups using a balanced block randomization method. The intervention group received home modifications, while the control group did not receive any modifications. After intervention, The HOME Fall and Accident Screening Tool was used to assess falls. The ethics committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences approved the study procedure (IR.TUMS.FNM.REC.1399.163) and this study was registered in the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials with the code: IRCT20210106049950N1. Results: Comparing the mean fall risk scores between the two groups at the beginning of the study showed no significant difference in the risk of falling ( p = 0.6). By contrast, at the end of the study, this difference became significant between groups ( p < 0.001). This comparison in the control group at the beginning and end of the study indicated no significant difference ( p = 0.32). However, it was significant in the intervention group at the beginning of the study and after modifications ( p < 0.001). Conclusion: Modifications by applying changes and reforms to the home environment reduced the risk of falling in older adults with dementia.

The lived experiences of adults with learning disabilities: Taking part in a community gardening group

Introduction: People with Learning disabilities (LD) are marginalised within society and experience reduced occupational participation compared to the general population. Research exploring the lived experiences of adults with LD is limited. Gardening has a long history as an Occupational Therapy (OT) intervention with evidence of its benefits for well-being. Yet, previous work with adults with LD has focused on the perspective of the practitioner and has failed to address participant experience. This study aimed to understand the lived experiences of people with LD taking part in a gardening group. Methods: Adults with LD, participating in a charity-run gardening group were recruited to a qualitative, phenomenological study. With consent, participants engaged in a semi-structured interview exploring their experiences of being a member of the gardening group. Thematic analysis was utilised to interpret the results. Results: Seven interviews were completed. Four main themes indicated that the gardening group helped aid relaxation, provided sense of achievement, developed practical and social skills, and was a lifeline to make friendships. Conclusions: OTs should utilise these findings to inform practice and reduce occupation deprivation. Future research should explore how environment, activities and participation time, impact the occupation of gardening for adults with a LD.

Caregiving occupations, health and well-being of Chinese mothers of children with disabilities living in Australia, Singapore and Taiwan

Introduction: Mothers of children with disabilities report increased maternal stress, compromised mental health and reduced leisure and social participation compared with other mothers. The aim of the study was to explore the similarities and differences between three groups of Chinese mothers of children with disabilities in their caregiving occupations and selected maternal variables. Methods: An online survey collected mothers’ demography, caregiving occupations and six maternal measures: frequency in participation in health promoting activities, mental well-being, personal well-being, psychological distress, perceived support and perceived stigma. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to investigate group similarities and differences, and detect associations between variables. Results: The survey responses of Chinese mothers ( N = 261) from Australia ( n = 80), Singapore ( n = 95) and Taiwan ( n = 86) were analysed. Similarities and differences in caregiving occupations were found between groups. The Kruskal–Wallis test showed no differences in maternal variables between groups. There were associations found between some caregiving occupations and maternal variables when mothers were analysed as a single group. Conclusion: The health and well-being of mothers of children with disabilities may be influenced more by their cultural similarities than differences in their socio-political environments. Recognising cultural influences on caregiving occupations is crucial in the delivery of culturally competent and culturally intelligent practice.

Open Access
The relationships among activity information, personal recovery, and related psychosocial factors in psychiatric day-care users in Japan

Introduction: Psychiatric day-care services play a central role in community-based care in Japan. Recovery and related psychosocial factors are critical in promoting community participation of people with mental illness. This study aimed to reveal the relationships among activity information, personal recovery, and related psychosocial factors in day-care users. Method: Forty day-care participants answered self-report questionnaires. The following assessments were applied: Recovery Assessment Scale, Occupational Questionnaire, Perceived Devaluation Discrimination Scale, and 26-item version of World Health Organization Quality of Life (QOL). The correlations among the factors were analyzed. Results: Data for 35 people were analyzed. Total recovery score was strongly correlated with total WHOQOL-26 score ( r = 0.76, p < 0.001). Total QOL score was positively related with the value of activities ( r = 0.46, p < 0.05). Social QOL and total stigma score had a significant negative relationship ( r = −0.44, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Participation in activities was suggested to improve QOL. Although there was a strong relationship between recovery and QOL, it was unclear to what extent participation in activities was related to recovery. We should consider approaches regarding other factors to fully accomplish community integration and personal recovery.

Enhancing professional identity of first-year occupational therapy students with the community-academia student tutoring program

Introduction: Delayed professional identity of occupational therapists inhibits successful transition from student to professional. One of the objectives of development of the Community–Academia Student Tutoring (CAST) program is to encourage professional identity formation among first-year undergraduate occupational therapy students. It focuses on developing competence in communication and professional knowledge through a learning-community setting while interacting with individuals with disabilities, thus enhancing students’ self-reflection abilities. Methods: Mixed-method design assessing change before and after participation among 193 students, in competence components essential for professional identity, and factors supporting its formation. Open-ended questions assessed the students’ perceived contribution of the CAST program. Results: Significantly higher competence in knowledge about people with disabilities and relating to them; increased sense of belonging to a learning community and self-reflection abilities compared to before. Relationship with a person with disability and belonging to a learning community predicted 25.4% of the variance in perceptions of program contribution. Central in the students’ experience were development of self-reflection abilities and interpersonal relationship skills, and learning occupational-therapy concepts through meeting people with disabilities. Conclusions: First-hand relationships with people with disability and self-reflection in a structured learning-community setting, may help develop first-year students’ communication skills and their professional identity as occupational therapists.