The COPM is a semi-structured interview that enables an open dialogue between client and therapist on issues of importance to the client. Administering the COPM draws on the therapist’s expertise and experience in occupation-based, client-centred practice.
As with any measurement tool, it is important that the therapist has the specific training necessary to administer the COPM in a reliable and valid manner. Learning resources are available to assist in this process. The steps to administer the COPM are described here.
- 1Problem Definition
- The COPM is a personalized, client-centred instrument designed to identify the occupational performance problems experienced by the client. Using a semi-structured interview, the therapist initiates the COPM process by engaging the client in identifying daily occupations of importance that they want to do, need to do, or are expected to do but are unable to accomplish. Areas of everyday living explored during the interview include self-care, productivity or leisure. Watch an Example
- 2Rating Importance
- Once the therapist is confident that the client has identified the occupational performance problems experienced in everyday living, the second step of the COPM process is undertaken. In step two, the client is asked to rate the importance of each of the occupations to his/her life using a 10-point rating scale. Watch an Example
- 3Selecting Problems for Scoring
- In the third step of the COPM process, the client chooses up to five of the most important problems identified in step two to be addressed in intervention. The therapist enters the chosen problems and their importance ratings in the scoring section. This process serves as the basis for identifying intervention goals. Watch an Example
- 4Scoring Performance and Satisfaction
- In step four, the client is asked to use a 10 point scale to rate their own level of performance and satisfaction with performance for each of the five identified problems. The therapist calculates an average COPM performance score and satisfaction score. These typically range between 1 and 10, where 1 indicates poor performance and low satisfaction, respectively, while 10 indicates very good performance and high satisfaction. Watch an Example
- 5Client Reassessment
- The fifth and final step of the COPM process takes places at the completion of intervention or at a pre-determined time after intervention was initiated. The therapist again asks the client to self-rate performance and satisfaction for the problems addressed. The therapist then uses these scores to calculate the performance and satisfaction change scores. Watch an Example
There are numerous examples of the COPM in use around the internet. Unfortunately, many of these are poor examples and none are endorsed by the authors of the COPM. Only the examples that appear on this site are endorsed by the COPM authors.
Over 500 articles have been written about the COPM. The reference list includes examples of clinical use of the measure and research with many different types of clients. View Full References List