Modelizing home safety as experienced by people with mental illness
Rationale: As more individuals with mental disorders now live in the community and as the custodial care housing model has shifted to supported housing, home safety has become a rising issue, however, not well documented.
Objectives: To describe the phenomenon of home safety for people with a mental disorder as well as its contributing factors.
Methods: A descriptive qualitative design was used. Individual interviews were conducted with persons with a mental disorder (n = 8), while focus groups were conducted with relatives, health and social service providers and community stakeholders (n = 21). The data were analyzed with the grounded theory analysis as described by Paillé (1994).
Results: Findings suggest that home safety implies risk and protective factors, which are associated with (1) the person's characteristics; (2) the quality of the home environment; (3) the nature of the activities in which the individual engages. These dimensions are interrelated so that home incidents arise from a dynamic interaction between risk and protective factors.
Conclusions: Home incidents therefore occur when the interaction between these dimensions is altered. Considering this situation, Occupational Therapists are well positioned to play a leading role and act as key contributors in the area of home safety in people with mental disorders.