The validity and use of psychosocial assessments in occupational therapy are ongoing concerns (Moyer, 1984) and were the focus of this study. Fifty African patients with schizophrenia and 10 nondysfunctional African volunteers took an an assessment battery that included the Schroeder, Block, Campbell Adult Psychiatric Sensory Integration Evaluation (SBC) (Schroeder, Block, Trottier, & Stowell, 1978), a daily activity, work, and leisure activity interview based on the Model of Human Occupation (Kielhofner, 1985), and a culture-specific test of functional performance. Data on subjects’ psychiatric histories and demographics were collected. Rationale for the assessments used, methods for devising the functional assessment, methods and procedures for data collection, and analysis are presented.

A stronger relationship was found to exist between subjects’ performances on the SBC and the functional activity test than between interviews based on the Model of Human Occupation and the functional activity test, both for patients and for the whole sample. All assessments were found to differentiate between patients and nonpatients, although the SBC was the best discriminator. Among psychiatric history variables, the strongest relationships were between measures of seriousness of illness and both the SBC and functional activity assessment. The most effective way to measure performance dysfunction and seriousness of illness in persons with schizophrenia was to measure the underlying sensorimotor impairment or to use a culture-specific test of functional performance.

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