August 2020
OT Assessment in a Virtual World
With COVID-19 restrictions, that will likely last for another year or more, most of us are wearing masks, and physically distancing ourselves from others, including clients. So how can we provide an adequate assessment or reassessment when clients are at a “safe distance”?  

The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) can be a powerful online tool in this new practice environment. You can use the COPM online by using virtual meeting programs such as Skype or Zoom to conduct a ‘face-to-face’ assessment similarly to how you would normally. Or, there’s nothing wrong with going retro and using the telephone to gather client occupational performance data efficiently.  Reassessment be undertaken in exactly the same manner. 

Previous research demonstrates that telephone (or online) interviews are a valid, reliable and efficient method of collecting important client evaluation data (Carr & Worth, 2001). Occupational therapy research agrees that telephone interviews when assessing clients are reliable and valid (Kjelken, Dagfinrud, Uhlig, Mowinckel, Kvien & Finset, 2005; Enemark Larsen, Rassmusen & Christensen, 2018). Such data assists the client and therapist in agreeing upon an appropriate intervention program to meet the client’s needs. Again, re-assessment can be conducted exactly the same manner to determine the effectiveness or outcome of the intervention program.  

The COPM Manual and Measure are available online (, as is a useful Learning Module, describing the theoretical underpinnings of the Measure and ‘how’ to conduct a COPM interview.

Carr, E.C.J. & Worth, A. (2001). The use of the telephone interview for research.  Journal of Research in Nursing6(1), 511-525.

Kjeken, I. Dagfinrud, H., Uhlig,T., Mowinckel, P., Kvien, T.K. & Finset, A. (2005). Reliability of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Journal of Rheumatology, 32(8), 1503-1509.

Enemark Larsen, A., Rasmussen, B., Christensen, J.R. (2018). Enhancing a client-centred practice with the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Occupational Therapy International

You can purchase the English version of the manual and measure in digital PDF and paper formats. The French version of the manual and measure are available in digital PDF format.

Purchase the COPM

© 2020 COPM Inc.

Park Street West
Dundas, ON L9H 1X9


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp