Original research| Volume 99, ISSUE 1, P35-42.e1, January 2018

Differences in Waiting List Prioritization Preferences of Occupational Therapists, Elderly People, and Persons With Disabilities: A Discrete Choice Experiment

  • Marie-Hélène Raymond
    Corresponding author Marie-Hélène Raymond, PhD, Faculty of Medicine, School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, P.O. Box 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3J7.
    School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Research Center, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Greater Montreal Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Research Centre (CRIR), Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Louise Demers
    School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Research Center, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Debbie Ehrmann Feldman
    School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    Greater Montreal Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Research Centre (CRIR), Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Published:August 07, 2017DOI:


      • Referral prioritization in home care occupational therapy is not standardized.
      • Priorities of elderly and disabled people are different from those of occupational therapists.
      • Home care occupational therapists prioritize people who fall.
      • Elderly and disabled people prioritize people who cannot enter and exit the home.
      • The target clientele should be consulted when establishing prioritization criteria.



      To compare the preferences of occupational therapists, elderly people, and adults with disabilities regarding prioritization criteria for occupational therapy waiting lists in home care.


      Discrete choice experiment survey.


      Survey mailed to occupational therapists working in home care and community-dwelling elderly or disabled persons.


      A sample (N=714) of home-based occupational therapists (n=241), elderly persons from a bank of research participants (n=226), and adults with physical disabilities recruited through community organizations (n=247).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The dependent variable was whether the referral scenario was prioritized or not in each question. The results were analyzed through logistic regression using conditional logit models.


      Prioritization preferences differed between groups (P<.001). Occupational therapists most strongly prioritized people who had a few falls (odds ratio vs no falls, 48.7), whereas elderly people and adults with disabilities most strongly prioritized people who were unable to enter and exit the home (odds ratio vs no difficulty entering and exiting the home, 30.8 for elderly people and 16.8 for persons with disabilities.)


      Our results highlight the gap between the priorities of home-based occupational therapists and their target clientele. Although further inquiry is needed to inform priority setting, the findings emphasize the importance of public or patient involvement in decisions on waiting list prioritization.


      List of abbreviations:

      CI (confidence interval), OR (odds ratio)
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