The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) is an individualized, client-centred measure designed for use by occupational therapists to detect change in a client's self-perception of occupational performance over time. It is designed to be used as an outcome measure. The COPM is designed for use with clients with a variety of disabilities and across all developmental stages. 

The COPM is a standardized instrument, in that there are specific instructions and methods for administering and scoring the test. It is designed as an outcome measure, with a semi-structured interview format and structured scoring method. Change scores between assessment and reassessment using the COPM are the most meaningful scores derived from this assessment.

Originally published in 1991, with the latest fourth edition released in May 2005, the COPM has been used in more than 35 countries and has been translated into over 20 languages. For information about obtaining translated versions, contact Mary Law.

The COPM has undergone extensive research in many different occupational therapy practice situations. The majority of clients and therapists indicate that the measure is easy to administer, taking 20-40 minutes.

A recent review of the published literature found 98 papers that focused on the COPM. Psychometric properties including clinical utility, validity and responsiveness were studied in many of the papers. The results were very positive, demonstrating support for the reliability and validity of the COPM. Clinical utility, examined through a number of different studies supports the use of the COPM with a wide variety of clients in many different settings. The COPM is also responsive to change and is widely used as an outcome measure for individuals and programs.

For details on the development of the COPM and ongoing research, please refer to the references cited below.

Important COPM References

Atwal, A., Owen, S. & Davies, R. (2003). Struggling for occupational satisfaction: Older people in care homes. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 118-124.

Bailey, A., Starr, L., Alderson, M. & Moreland, J. (1999). A comparative evaluation of a Fibromyalgia rehabilitation program. Arthritis Care and Research, 12(5), 336-340.

Baptiste, S., Law, M., Pollock, N., Polatajko, H., McColl, M.A. & Carswell, A. (1993) The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. World Federation of Occupational Therapy Bulletin, 28, 47-51.

Barry, M.J. & Albright, L. (1996). Use of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure as an outcome measure for intrathecal baclofen therapy. Pediatric Physical therapy, 8, 183-184.

Barclay, L. (2002). Exploring the factors that influence the goal setting process for occupational therapy intervention with an individual with spinal cord injury. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 49,(1), 3-13.

Bickes, M.B., DeLoache, S.N., Dicer, J.R. & Miller, S.C. (2001). Effectiveness of experiential and verbal occupational therapy groups in a community mental health setting. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 17(1), 51-72.

Bodiam, C. (1999). The use of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure for the assessment of outcome on a nuerorehabilitation unit. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 62,(3), 123-126.

Bosch, J. (1995). The reliability and validity of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Master's Thesis. McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Bowie, C., Shackleton, T. & Zehnal, K.J. (1999). Exploring the responsiveness of the COPM in an outpatient rehabilitation program. Unpublished manuscript.

Bowman, J. & Llewellyn, G. (2002). Clinical outcomes research from the occupational therapist's perspective. Occupational Therapy International, 9(2), 145-166.

Healey, H. & Greenberg, E. (1993). A pilot study of the use of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. North York, ON: Discoverability: Career Education and Assessment for Ontario Young People with Physical Disabilities.

Boyd, R., Bach, T., Morris, M., Graham, T.K., Imms, C., Johnson, L., Syngeniotis, A., Abbot, D. & Jackson, G.D. (2003). A single-blind randomised trial of Botulinum toxin A(BTX-A) and upper limb training in congenital hemiplegia ­ activity, participation and health related quality of life. Presented at the meeting of the International Cerebral Palsy Conference, Quebec City, Canada.

Boyer, G., Hachey, R., & Mercier, C. (2000). Perceptions of occupational performance and subjective quality of life in person with severe mental illness. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 15 (2), 1-15.

Brown, F, Shiels, M. & Hall, C. (2001). A pilot community living skills group: An evaluation. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(3), 144-150.

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. (2002). Enabling occupation: An occupational therapy perspective (rev.). Ottawa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

Carpenter, L. Baker, G.A. & Tyldesley, B. (2001). The use of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure as an outcome of a pain management program. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy , 68(1), 16-22.

Carswell, A., (1995). Assessing the client's perception of Person-Environment fit using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. In G. Gutman & A. Wister (Eds.), Progressive accommodation for seniors: Interfacing shelters and services (pp. 135-144). Vancouver, BC: Simon Fraser University.

Chan, C.C.H. & Lee, T.M.C. (1997). Validity of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Occupational Therapy International. 4(3), 229-247.

Chen, Y-H., Rodger, S. & Polatajko, H. (2002). Experiences with the COPM and client-centred practice in adult neurorehabilitation in Taiwan. Occupational Therapy Innternational, 9(3), 167-184.

Chesworth, C., Duffy, R., Hodnett, J., & Knight, A. (2002). Measuring clinical effectiveness in mental health: Is the Canadian Occupational Performance an appropriate measure? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(1), 30-34.

Cooper, B.A. & Stewart, D. (1997). The effect of a transfer device in the homes of elderly women. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 15(2), 61-77.

Cott, S.A. & Wright, F.V. (2001). An evaluation of a Conductive Education program for adults with neurological disability. Physiotherapy Canada, 53, 182-189.

CORE. (2003). Why is outcomes research important to the field of occupational therapy? [on line]. Available, http://www.aotf.org/html/core.html

Corr, S. & Wilmer, S. (2003). Returning to work after a stroke: An important but neglected area. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(3), 186-192.

Crenshaw, W., Gillian, M.L., Kidd, N., Olivo, J & Schell, B.A.B. (2001). Assisted living residents' perspectives of their occupational performance concerns. Activities, Adaptations and Aging, 26(1), 41-55.

Cresswell, M.K.M. (1998). A study to investigate the utility of the Canadian Occupational Performance measure as an outcome measure in community mental health occupational therapy. Unpublished Master's thesis, University of Exeter, Exeter, England.

Cup, E.H., Scholte op Reimer, W.J., Thijssen, M.C., & van Kuyk-Minis, M.A. (2003). Reliability and validity of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure in stroke patients. Clinical Rehabilitation, 17,(4), 402 ­ 409.

Davis, S.E., Mulcahey, M.J., Smith, B.T. & Betz, R.R. (1999). Outcome of functional electrical stimulation in the rehabilitation of a child with C-5 tetraplegia. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, 22, 107-113.

Department of National Health and Welfare and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. (1983). Guidelines fo the client-centred practice of occupational therapy (H39-33/1983E). Ottawa: Department of National Health and Welfare.

Donnelly, C., & Carswell, A. (2002). Individualized outcome measures: A review of the literature. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(2), 84-94.

Drew, J. & Rugg, S. (2001). Activity use in occupational therapy: Occupational therapy students' fieldwork experience. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(10), 478-486.

Dreyer, N.C., Dreyer, K.A., Shaw, D.K. & Wittman, P.P. (2001). Efficacy of telemedicine in occupational therapy: A pilot study. Journal of Allied Health, 30(1), 39-42.

Fedden, T., Green, A. & Hill, T. (1999). Out of the woods: the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, from the manual into practice. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62(7), 318-320.

Fragala, M.A., OšNeil, M.E., Russo, K.J. & Dumas, H.M. (2002). Impairment, disability and satisfaction outcome after lower-extremity Botulinum toxin A injections for children with cerebral palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 14, 132-144.

Fricke, J. & Unsworth, C. (2001). Time use and importance of instrumental activities of daily living. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 48, (3), 118 ­ 131.

Gaudet, P. (2002). Measuring the impact of Parkinson's disease: An occupational therapy perspective. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(2), 104 113.

Gilbertson, L. & Langhorne, P. (2000). Home-based occupational therapy: Stroke patients' satisfaction with occupational performance and service provision. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(10), 464-468.

Hannah, S.D. & Hudak, P.L. (2001). Splinting and radial nerve palsy: A single-subject experiment. Journal of Hand Therapy, July-September, 195-201.

Healy, H. & Rigby, P. (1999). Promoting independence for teens and young adults with physical disabilities. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(5), 240-249.

Hitchon, C.A., Chan, M., Strock, A. & Canvin, J.M. (2001). Improvement in patient derived performance goals after day hospital education program for rheumatoid arthritis. ARHP Annual Meeting, 45(6), S10.

Kusznir, A., Scott, E., Cooke, R., & Young, L.T. (1996). Functional consequences of bipolar affective disorder: An occupational therapy perspective. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63,(5), 313-322.

Landa-Gonzalez, B. (2001). Multicontextual occupational therapy intervention: A case study of traumatic brain injury. Occupational Therapy International, 8(1), 49-62.

 Law, M. (1987). Measurment in occupational therapy: Scientific criteria for evaluation. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 54(3), 133-138.

Law, M., Baptiste, S., McColl, M.A., Opzoomer, A., Polatajko, H. & Pollock, N. (1990). The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: An outcome measure for occupational therapy. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(2), 82-87.

Law, M., Baptiste, S., Carswell-Opzoomer, A., McColl, M.A., Polatajko, H., & Pollock, N. (1991). Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Toronto, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

Law, M., Baptiste, S., Carswell, A., McColl, M.A., Polatajko, H., & Pollock, N. (1994). Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (2nd ed.) Toronto, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

Law, M., Baptiste, S., Carswell, A., McColl, M.A., Polatajko, H., & Pollock, N. (1998). Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (2nd ed. Rev.) Ottawa, ON: CAOT Publications ACE.

Law, M. & Baum, C. (2001). Measurement and Occupational Therapy, in M. In: Law, C. Baum & W. Dunn (Eds.). Measuring Occupational Performance. Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc.

Law, M., Darrah, J., Pollock, N., King, G., Rosenbaum, P., Russell, D., Palisano, R., Harris, S., Armstrong, R. & Watt, J. (1998) Family-centred functional therapy for children with cerebral palsy: An emerging practice model. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 18(1), 83-102.

Law, M., Polatajko, H., Pollock, N., McColl, M.A., Carswell, A. & Baptiste, S. (1994). Pilot testing of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: Clinical and measurement issues. Canadian Journal of Occupational therapy, 61(4), 191-197.

Law, M., Russell, D., Pollock, N., Rosenbaum, P., Walter, S. & King, G. (1997). A comparison of intensive neurodevelopmental therapy plus casting and a regular occupational therapy program for children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 39, 664-670.

Law, M. & Stewart, D. (1996). Test retest reliability of the COPM with children. Unpublished manuscript.

Lewis, J. & Jones, P. (2001). Measuring handicap in rheumatic disease: Evaluation of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. ARHP Annual Meeting 45(6) S90.

Liddle, J & McKenna, K. (2000). Quality of Life: An overview of issues for use in occupational therapy outcome measurement. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 47, 77-85.

Lyons, T. & Raghavendra, P. (2003). Therapists' view on the usability of Canadian Occupational Performance Measure for an early intervention group by a multi-disciplinary team: A pilot study [on line].

MacKenzie, A. (1994). Differences in perceptions between older persons and their careers. Master's thesis. King's College, London.

Martini, R. & Polatajko, H. (1998). Verbal self-guidance as a treatment approach for children with developmental co-ordination disorder: A systematic replication study. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research. 18(4), 157-181.

Mason, L., Singh, S.J. & Morgan, M.D.L. (1999). Improvements in domestic function after pulmonary rehabilitation. Thorax, 54,(Supple 3), A17.

McColl, M.A., Paterson, M., Davies, D., Doubt, L. & Law, M. (2000). Validity and community utility of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67 (1), 22-30.

McGavin, H. (1998). Planning rehabilitation: A comparison of issues for parents and adolescents. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 18(1), 69-82.

McGrath, W.L., Mueller, M.M., Brown, C.B., Teitelman, J., Watts, J., (2000), Caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's Disease: An exploratory study of occupational performance and respite. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 18(2), 51-69.

McKinnon, A.L. (2000). Client values and satisfaction with occupational therapy. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 7, 99-106.

Mew, M.M. & Fossey, E. (1996). Client-centred aspects of clinical reasoning during an initial assessment using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 43, 155-165.

Miller, L.T., Polatajko, H.J., Missiuna, C.., Mandich. A.D. & Macnab, J.J. (2001). A pilot trial of a cognitive treatment for children with developmental coordination disorder. Human Movement Science, 20, 118-210.

Mills, T., Holm, M.B., Trefler. E., Schmeler, M., Fitsgerald, S., & Boninger, M. (2002). Development and consumer validation of the Functional Evaluation in a Wheelchair (FEW) instrument. Disability and Rehabilitation, 24, 38-46.

Norris A. (1999). A pilot study of an outcome measure in palliative care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 5 (1), 40 45.

Packer, T.L. & Xiaoping, Y. (1997). Needs of people with disabilities used to determine clinical education. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 20 (3), 303-313.

Packer, T., Paterson, M., Krupa, T., Avtchoukhove, L., Tchebotareva, L. & Krasnova, K., (2000), Client outcomes after student Community fieldwork in Russia. Occupational Therapy International, 7(3), 191-197.

Perron, M., Smith, E., Brown, A. Bradley, C., Koseck, K. & Feldman, B.M. (2001). Juvenile arthritis summer can improves knowledge, satisfaction and health status. ARHP Annual Meeting 45(6) S276.

Petty, L.S., & Treviranus, J. (2003). Outcome measures for high technology vision aids: An application of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Assistive Technology Outcomes.

Pollock, N.(1992).Client-centered assessment. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 47(4), 298-301.

Pollock, N., Baptiste, S., Law, M., McColl, M.A., Opzoomer, A., Polatajko, H. (1990). Occupational Performance Measures: A review based on the guidelines for the client-centred practice of occupational therapy. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(2), 77-81.

Pollock, N. & Stewart, D. (1998) Occupational performance needs of school-aged children with physical disabilities in the community. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 8(1), 55-68.

Reid, D. (2002). Benefits of a virtual play rehabilitation environment for children with cerebral palsy on perceptions of self-efficacy: A pilot study. Pediatric Rehabilitation, 5(3), 141-148.

Reid, D., Rigby, P & Ryan, S. (1999). Functional impact of a rigid pelvic stabilizer on children with cerebral palsy who use wheelchairs: usersš and caregivers' perceptions. Pediatric Rehabilitation, 3(3), 101-118.

Reid, D.T., Hebert, D., & Rudman, D. (2001). Occupational performance in older stroke wheelchair users living at home. Occupational Therapy International, 8(4), 273-286.

Reinhartz, S. (2002). Use of the COPM in a German mental health facility. WFOT Bulletin, 45, 25-27.

Richardson, J., Law, M., Wishart, L. & Guyatt, G. (2000). The use of a simulated environment (Easy Street) to retrain independent living skills in elderly persons: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Gerontology, 55A(10), M578-M584.

Ripat, J., Etcheverry, E., Cooper, J. & Tate, R. (2001). A comparison of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure and the Health Assessment Questionnaire. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(4), 247-253.

Robertson, J. (2002). COPM: Use in mental health. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(2), 101-102.

Sanford, J., Law, M., Swanson, L. & Guyatt, G. (1994). Assessing clinically important change an outcome of rehabilitation in older adults. Conference of the American Society of Aging. San Francisco, CA.

Scull, D. (1997). An outcome measure for adult mental health: An evaluation study of the COPM for adult mental health. Undergraduate Honours thesis, University of Wales. Cardiff.

Sewell, L., & Singh, S.J. (2001). The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: Is it a reliable measure in clients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(6), 305-310.

Simmons, D.C., Crepeau, E.B. & White, B.P. (2000). The predictive power of narrative data in occupational therapy evaluation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 54 (5), 471-476.

Southon, K.A., (1997). A study of the occupational performance goals of elderly patients when in hospital and at home, and implications for the provision of occupational therapy. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Exeter, Exeter, England.

Stancombe, R. & Young, J. (1996). Using the COPM in elderly mental health. OT News, 12-13.

Steeden, B. (1994) Occupational therapy guidelines for client-centred practice and Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: Book Review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 23.

Stewart, S. & Neyerlin-Beale, S. (2000). The impact of community paediatric occupational therapy on children with disabilities and their carers. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63(8), 373-379.

Tam, C., Reid, D., Naumann, S & OšKeefe, B. (2002). Perceived benefits of word prediction intervention on written productivity in children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Occupational Therapy International, 9(3), 237-255.

Toomey, M., Nicholson, D., & Carswell, A. (1995). The clinical utility of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62 (5), 242-249.

Trombly, C.A., Radomski, M.V. & Davis, E.S. (1998). Achievement of self-identified goals by adults with traumatic brain injury: Phase 1. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52(10), 810-818.

Tryssenaar, J., Jones, E.J. & Lee, D. (1999). Occupational performance needs of a shelter population. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66 (4), 188-196.

Van Leit, B. & Crowe, T. (2003). Outcomes of an occupational therapy program for mothers of children with disabilities: Impact on satisfaction with time use and occupational performance. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 56(4), 402410.

van Meeteren, N.L.U., Strato, I.H.M., van Veldhoven, N.H.M.J., de Kleijn, P. van den Berg, H.M. & Helders, J.M. (2000). The utility of the Dutch Impact Measurement Scales 2 for assessing health status in individuals with haemophilia: A pilot study. Haemophilia, 6, 664-671.

Veneri, A. (2000) Occupational performance: Perceptions of children with development coordination disorder. Unpublished master's thesis, University of East London, London, England.

Ward, G.E., Jagger, C. & Harper, W.M.H. (1996). The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: What do users consider important? British Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 3(8), 448-452.

Warren, A. (2002). An evaluation of the Canadian Model of occupational Performance and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure in mental health practice. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(11), 515-521.

Waters, D. (1995). Recovering from a depressive episode using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62(4), 278-282.

Whalley- Hammell, K.R.H. (1994). Establishing objectives in occupational therapy practice, part 2. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(2), 45-49.

Wilcox, A. (1994). A study of verbal guidance for children with development coordination disorder. Unpublished Master's thesis, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.

Wilkins, S., Pollock, N., Rochon, S. & Law, M. (2001). Implementing client-centred practice: Why is it so difficult to do? Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(2), 70-79.

Wressle, E., Eeg-Olofsson, A-M., Marcusson, J & Henriksson, C. (2002). Improved client participation in the rehabilitation process using a client-centred goal formulation structure. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 34, 5-11.

Wressle, E., Samulelsson, K. & Henriksson, C. (1999). Responsiveness of the Swedish version of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6, 84-89.

Wressle, E., Marcusson, J. & Henriksson, C. (2002). Clinical utility of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure ­ Swedish version. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(2), 40-48.

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