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Can J Occup Ther. 2013 Apr;80(2):92-100.

Observation patterns of dynamic occupational performance.

Author information

  • 1School of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Professions, Dalhousie University, Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada. diane.mackenzie@dal.ca



Visual observation is a key component of both formal and informal occupational performance assessment, but it is unknown how therapists gather this visual information.


The purpose of this study was to explore observational behaviour of occupational therapists and non-health care professionals when watching videos of simulated clients post-stroke participating in everyday activity.


Ten licensed occupational therapists and 10 age-, gender-, and education level-matched participants completed this eye-tracking study.


Contrary to our past work with static image viewing, we found limited evidence of differences in eye movement characteristics between the two groups, although results did support the role of bottom-up information, such as visual motion, as a determinant of looking behaviour.


These results suggest that understanding observational behaviour in therapists can be aided with eye-tracking methodology, but future studies should probe a broad range of factors that might influence observational behaviour and performance, such as assessment goals, knowledge, and therapist experience.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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