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An exploration of communication between clients and professionals in the design of home adaptations.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5295-2482
London South Bank University.
London South Bank University. (MARU)
London South Bank University.
2009 (English)In: British Journal of Occupational Therapy, ISSN 0308-0226, E-ISSN 1477-6006, Vol. 72, no 5, 197-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explored communications between the people involved in the design of home adaptations, including clients and carers, occupational therapists, surveyors and builders. The aims were to explore (i) what constituted good communication in this context and (ii) how communication occurred. One London borough was selected as a case study. All participants lived or worked within the borough and had been involved in the adaptation process. Nineteen individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with six clients, four occupational therapists, six grant surveyors and three builders.


The findings suggest that the professionals constituted a 'community of practice' (Wenger 1998) within which communication was good. The professionals used plan drawings to support communication between them. However, the study found that client involvement in the design was limited and that plan drawings were not effective tools in communication with them. The clients relied on the occupational therapist to represent their interests in the design process. Occupational therapists' communication with clients on the design of adaptations may be enhanced by the development and use of more sophisticated visualisation tools to replace the plan drawings. This would enable clients to become more engaged in the adaptations process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: British Association of Occupational Therpists , 2009. Vol. 72, no 5, 197-204 p.
Keyword [en]
Communication, Housing adaptations, Design
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-51317OAI: diva2:274074
Available from: 2009-10-26 Created: 2009-10-26 Last updated: 2015-04-22

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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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