Empirical evaluation of home-based reablement: A review


  • Tore Bersvendsen Kristiansand Municipality, University of Agder
  • Jochen Jungeilges University of Agder, Ural Federal University
  • Eirik Abildsnes Kristiansand Municipality, University of Agder




Reablement, economic/econometric evaluation, rehabilitation, RCT technology, assessment tool


Home-based reablement (HBR) aims to restore or increase patients’ level of functioning, thereby increasing the patients’ self-reliance and consequently decreasing their dependence on healthcare services. To date, the evidence on whether HBR is an efficient method has not been comprehensively reviewed. The aim of this study was to provide a concise summary of relevant existing findings. In addition, we provide a critical constructive assessment of the publications reflecting the extant research.  The relevant literature on this topic was identified through a systematic search of appropriate databases. Thereafter, we screened the studies, first by title, followed by abstract and then by assessing full-text eligibility. A checklist of 15 criteria was developed and used as the basis for the quality assessment. In total, 12 studies from Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Norway were included in the full-text review. The studies reported estimated cost differences between HBR and usual care after the intervention. All the studies indicated lower costs for HBR, but not all of them reported a significant difference. The same pattern was also found for other measures of physical functioning and quality of life. The assessment revealed one specific common pattern: None of the papers scrutinized provided sufficient information about the data or the statistics employed, and all lacked external validity. Some promising results have been reported with respect to HBR reducing the need for specialist or residential care. In short, the existing evidence regarding the effects of HBR is still inconclusive. The findings from the quality assessment should motivate a multidisciplinary approach for future research on HBR.

Published: Online May 2021. 


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