Objectives. The objectives of this article are to (a) identify features needed in a clinical tool in order to organize collaborative planning for the future between therapist and client; (b) describe the structure and procedures for use of the Community Adaptive Planning Assessment (CAPA), which was developed to meet these needs; (c) summarize research on the usability, trustworthiness, and clinical effectiveness of the CAPA; and (d) consider future work to further evaluate qualitative tools like the CAPA for clinical and research purposes.

Method. Initial and revised versions of the CAPA were evaluated through several studies. Usability was examined through questionnaires completed by therapists who used the CAPA in acute care, rehabilitation, home health, and community programs with a total of 105 clients who had a variety of acute and chronic disabilities. Trustworthiness was evaluated through comparison of information gathered from 21 clients with that from their family members. Clinical effectiveness was evaluated for discharge planning through content analysis of community outcomes of goals and plans established before discharge.

Results. Initial studies indicate that the CAPA has sound usability, trustworthiness, and clinical effectiveness for a variety of service delivery systems and with a variety of clients when used by experienced therapists. Findings support use of these three criteria for evaluation of tools designed to document qualitative consultation-based practice.

Conclusions. Results are related to broader issues in the profession, including a need for further study of collaborative planning for the future between clients and therapists, ways in which qualitative aspects of practice can be documented efficiently, ways in which outcomes of consultation-based practice can be evaluated, and establishment of criteria for evaluation of emerging qualitative assessments and intervention tools.

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