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Time use and importance of instrumental activities of daily living
journal contributionposted on 28.05.2019, 00:00 by J Fricke, Carolyn Unsworth
This study investigated time use and the importance of instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) tasks to an older community-dwelling population. In addition, the study compared occupational therapists’ and older people’s perception of importance of IADL tasks for maintaining community living. Thirty-three subjects completed a time diary and an interview-based questionnaire to ascertain their time use and the importance of IADL tasks. It was found that older people living in the community spent most of their time at home and alone, with nearly half the day being spent on IADL tasks. The subjects indicated that the three most important tasks were use of the telephone, use of transportation (including driving) and reading. Differences were found when the results from an earlier study of occupational therapists were compared with results from the present study of older people. The occupational therapists also considered use of the telephone as most important but then rated medication management and snack preparation as the most necessary activities for continued community living. These results emphasize the differences in the perception of ‘important’ between the two groups studied. The results from this research confirm the importance of IADL to both the occupational therapy profession and older people living at home in the community. Further, these results confirm the need for client-centred practice and collaborative intervention planning for occupational therapy.