Using the COPM in Multidisciplinary Teams

Although designed specifically for use by occupational therapists, the COPM has proven to be a useful tool for multidisciplinary teams, as the following examples illustrate.

Verhoef and colleagues (2013a and 2013b) used the COPM in the development and evaluation of the multidisciplinary intervention to improve work participation of young adults with physical disabilities. The intervention included occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers and used both group sessions and individual coaching. The program began with a group program over eight weeks that focused on information and discussion about work topics including searching for work, during job interviews, and work environments. Individual assessments and interventions were also provided to address specific occupational performance problems identified by the young adults on the COPM. Examples of these issues included finding a specific type of job, organizational skills for work, and increasing technology skills. Results showed an improvement in occupational performance across work, self care and leisure areas as well as significant changes in employment status two years after the intervention. Changes on the COPM averaged 2.3 points for both performance and satisfaction scores.

Verhoef, J. A., Miedema, H. S., Meeteren, J., Stam, H. J., & Roebroeck, M. E. (2013a). A new intervention to improve work participation of young adults with physical disabilities: a feasibility study. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 55(8), 722-728.

Verhoef, J. A., Roebroeck, M. E., van Schaardenburgh, N., Floothuis, M. C., & Miedema, H. S. (2013b). Improved Occupational Performance of Young Adults with a Physical Disability After a Vocational Rehabilitation Intervention. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 1-10.

Wressle and colleagues (2003) describes the use of the COPM both as an outcome measure and a multidisciplinary team tool in a day treatment program for clients with rheumatoid arthritis. The study had two phases – usual care before the introduction of the COPM, and the use of the COPM as a tool in teamwork. Prior to the introduction of the COPM, all team members received education about the COPM and team members during the COPM interviews receive specific training. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine differences between the two phases. Findings indicated that health practitioners typically had individual goals for clients but few team goals before using the COPM. After the COPM was implemented, more team-based goals were developed. Clients indicated that they felt were positively about treatment goals and were able to recall treatment goals more clearly. Practitioners indicated that they believed that client participation in the program improved after the use of the COPM was introduced. They also indicated that the client-identified problems on the COPM were broader in focus and led to a shift in treatment to focus more on activity and occupational performance.

Wressle, E., Lindstrand, J., Neher, M., Marcusson, J., & Henriksson, C. (2003). The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure as an outcome measure and team tool in a day treatment programme. Disability & Rehabilitation, 25(10), 497-506.

A recent study by Stukstette and colleagues (2012) demonstrates how the COPM can be an integral part of planning a complex, multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. Guidelines from the Medical Research Council were used to plan a multidisciplinary and multidimensional program for persons with hand osteoarthritis. The COPM was used initially to gather information about the most common occupational performance problems experienced by clients eligible for the program. The team also found evidence from the literature that patient motivation within programs is very important so decided to use the COPM to enable participants to identify individual occupational performance problems and then set individual treatment goals. Thus, in design of the program, the measure is used at the beginning of intervention to identify priority problems in daily occupations for which clients want intervention. The multidisciplinary program is led by an occupational therapist and nurse and focuses on both group and individual sessions related to self-management, daily home exercises to enhance joint mobility and education about ergonomics. The program is currently undergoing evaluation with a randomized clinical trial.

Stukstette, M. J. P. M., Hoogeboom, T. J., de Ruiter, R., Koelmans, P., Veerman, E., den Broeder, A. A., … & van den Ende, C. H. M. (2012). A multidisciplinary and multidimensional intervention for patients with hand osteoarthritis. Clinical rehabilitation, 26(2), 99-110.

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