Development and validation of a remote home safety protocol

Sergio Romero, Mi Jung Lee, Ivana Simic, Charles Levy, Jon Sanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: Environmental assessments and subsequent modifications conducted by healthcare professionals can enhance home safety and promote independent living. However, travel time, expense and the availability of qualified professionals can limit the broad application of this intervention. Remote technology has the potential to increase access to home safety evaluations. Purpose: This study describes the development and validation of a remote home safety protocol that can be used by a caregiver of an elderly person to video-record their home environment for later viewing and evaluation by a trained professional. Methods: The protocol was developed based on literature reviews and evaluations from clinical and content experts. Cognitive interviews were conducted with a group of six caregivers to validate the protocol. Results: The final protocol included step-by-step directions to record indoor and outdoor areas of the home. The validation process resulted in modifications related to safety, clarity of the protocol, readability, visual appearance, technical descriptions and usability. Conclusions: Our final protocol includes detailed instructions that a caregiver should be able to follow to record a home environment for subsequent evaluation by a home safety professional. Implications for Rehabilitation The results of this study have several implications for rehabilitation practice The remote home safety evaluation protocol can potentially improve access to rehabilitation services for clients in remote areas and prevent unnecessary delays for needed care. Using our protocol, a patient’s caregiver can partner with therapists to quickly and efficiently evaluate a patient’s home before they are released from the hospital. Caregiver narration, which reflects a caregiver’s own perspective, is critical to evaluating home safety. In-home safety evaluations, currently not available to all who need them due to access barriers, can enhance a patient’s independence and provide a safer home environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Safety
  • caregiver
  • housing
  • outcome and process assessment (health care)
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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