Abstract

Occupational therapists working in home care have an advantage over those working in other settings because they can observe the influence of the naturalistic context on task performance. However, to use this advantage, therapists working in home care must use an evaluation approach that enables them to capture the client-task-context transaction. In this article, we discuss the ability of four “ evaluation approaches”—norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, dynamic, informal—to provide information about the client-task-context transaction that therapists need in order to plan effective intervention. The potential of each approach for identifying clients’ performance problems, suggesting etiologies, determining rehabilitation potential, and guiding intervention is analyzed, and the appropriateness of each approach for application in the home is appraised. This analysis highlights the utility of combining the criterion-referenced and dynamic assessment approaches for use in home care. A sequential process for integrating these two approaches is provided, and the proposed outcomes to be obtained from this process are identified.

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