Objectives. Occupational therapists sometimes observe an alarming discrepancy between the occupational performance skills developed in the clinical setting and the degree to which the client willingly puts these skills to use outside the clinical environment. The literature strongly suggests that perceived self-efficacy partially explains’ this discrepancy; however, an understanding of perceived self-efficacy has not yet been integrated into the practice of occupational therapy. Both a lack of awareness of the construct and a lack of ability to assess perceived self-efficacy within the occupational performance domain are responsible for this lack of integration into practice. This article presents the development, reliability, and validity testing of a measure of perceived self-efficacy developed particularly for use by occupational therapists, the Self-Efficacy Gauge.
Method. Reliability and validity testing was performed through use of a mailed survey( n = 126). Test–retest reliability, internal consistency, and alternate form reliability were examined. In addition, the subjects’ scores on the Gauge were compared to actual performance and a hopelessness scale.
Results. The Self-Efficacy Gauge has a reasonable degree of reliability when used on a clinical sample whose perceived self-efficacy for occupational performance activities is unlikely to change. The results also provide preliminary support for the validity of the instrument.
Conclusion. It is recognized that without a gold standard for comparison, validity testing will be an ongoing need.