Activity and Participation – self-assessment according to the International Classification of Functioning: a study in mental health

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Introduction: The aim of this exploratory study was to discover if a fifth qualifier in the domain of Activity and Participation in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) could highlight the experience of satisfaction and enjoyment in the everyday life of people with severe mental illness. It also investigated the correlation between the assessment made by an occupational therapist and nursing staff based on performance, and the assessment made by the clients themselves.

Method: Twenty-nine clients with schizophrenia or other forms of psychosis participated, using a self-assessment. The performance was investigated by using the first qualifier in the ICF, domain Activity and Participation.

Findings: The 'Major life area' was rated with the most dissatisfaction and displeasure by the clients. 'Communication' and 'General task and demands' also had low ratings. 'Self-care' was rated with the most satisfaction and enjoyment. There was a correlation between the assessments made by the occupational therapist and the nursing staff, but their assessments differed from those made by the clients.

Conclusion: The study indicates the importance of using self-assessment when understanding everyday life as presented in the ICF, and the importance of using different assessment methods to gain a broad picture of clients.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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