Encounters between older adults and occupational therapists during the assistive technology application process

Stina Meyer Larsen, Lise Hounsgaard, Karin Johansson, Hanne Kaae Kristensen

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From the perspective of older adults, the assistive technology application process is complex and their perceived involvement varies. Occupational therapists find it challenging to satisfy their clients’ needs while complying with the eligibility criteria of the service provision system. Research has shown that, from the perspective of both clients and occupational therapists, the application process is perceived to be challenging. However, little is known about which specific actions and experiences during the application process give rise to this perceived complexity. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate older adults’ and occupational therapists’ actions and experiences of their encounters during the assistive technology application process. Material and method: Data were generated using repeated participant observations and informal interviews. Ricoeur’s theory of interpretation was used to interpret and discuss the data generated. Results: Two themes emerged: Expressing needs and translating needs. Conclusion: Older adults express their needs in different ways. When the older adults’ expression of needs does not correspond with the service provision system’s conditions of eligibility, the occupational therapists act as mediators, by translating experienced needs so that they are expressed in a way that corresponds to the expression of the eligibility criteria.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
StatusUdgivet - maj 2020