June 2018
“Can I Change or Modify the COPM?”​

​“In my practice I work with people who are homeless. I like the COPM, but wonder if I could modify it to address some of the problems specific to that population?” This is only one example of questions we receive wondering whether the COPM can be changed of modified to better meet a therapist’s practice. 
We always answer “No, the COPM cannot be modified” for two reasons. 
​​The first reason is that the COPM is a copyrighted and validated measure. According to the ‘Berne Convention on International Copyright’, after a qualifying work is fixed in a tangible medium, all literary and artistic rights are protected. ​Copyright usually lasts for the life of the author(s) and until 70 years after her or his death. The COPM has been validated in its current form – many studies support its effectiveness. Modifications to the measure invalidate it. Therefore, no one may change or modify the process for administering or scoring the COPM measure without the explicit permission of the COPM authors.
The second, equally important reason, is the underlying foundational and philosophical basis of the COPM. It is an individualized, client-centred measure of clients’ self-perception of the occupational performance problems encountered in everyday living. The COPM asks clients to define their occupational performance problems, not the underlying skills in which contribute to occupational performance (physical, mental, socio-cultural and spiritual). Extensive published research shows that the COPM is not diagnosis specific and considers the client’s environment, culture, developmental stage, life roles and motivation. The COPM measures occupational performance as an individual subjective experience. That is its strength, and modifications may change these characteristics of the COPM.​

You can purchase English and French versions of the manual, measure and forms in paper and PDF formats from the CAOT online store.

Purchase the COPM

© 2018 COPM Inc.

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Dundas, ON L9H 1X9


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