The COPM is a reliable, valid outcome measure that can be used in a wide variety of clinical settings to help occupational therapists work with clients.
When the COPM is completed by both parent and teacher, it can serve as a means of opening communication between them and identifying mutually agreed-upon goals.
Sarah is a perky, slender girl with blonde hair and blue eyes who was 9 years old at the time of the COPM interview. She lives with her mother, her widowed grandfather and her teenaged sister in a detached home in a working class urban neighbourhood.
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.
The COPM is a useful tool throughout the therapy process: in initiating the therapist client interaction, in identifying client identified performance issues and setting the stage for client-selected intervention goals and then establishing the client’s perspective on outcomes.
A pilot occupational therapy community skills group created to enable individuals living with severe, chronic mental illness to have better outcomes.
An group of occupational therapists provides intervention services for adults with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or after total joint replacements. They want to find an outcome measure that is specific to occupational therapy and assesses changes in daily occupations.
An occupational therapist working in the community children’s centre has been using the COPM to measure change after intervention for the children that she sees for therapy services. She is interested in looking at research that uses the COPM to evaluate the effectiveness of new and emerging occupational therapy interventions.
The occupational therapists at a regional rehabilitation centre have heard about the COPM and wonder if it will meet their needs to have a tool that can evaluate change after intervention across several programs.
Barbara is a 56-year-old woman who was admitted to hospital because of depression. She lives with her husband and does occasional bookkeeping for a local business. They have two sons who are grown and have their own families.
Health care managers may find the COPM useful as a way of collecting data for a number of administrative purposes. For example, the COPM has been used to structure databases tracking occupational therapy practice patterns and referral profiles.
A new program to provide rehabilitation services for clients with multiple sclerosis is being designed. The program will serve clients who are living in the community and are admitted for short-term rehabilitation services.
Making the interview part interesting and getting the child involved is crucial to the successful and valid completion of the COPM.