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Scand J Occup Ther. 2013 Sep;20(5):374-83. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2012.743586. Epub 2012 Nov 27.

Cooking task assessment in frail older adults: who performed better at home and in the clinic?

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Research Center, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montreal, Montreal, Canada.



The purpose of this study was to determine: (i) the proportion of frail older adults who demonstrate (a) statistically significant and (b) clinically meaningful differences between home and clinic cooking task performance; and (ii) factors associated with a better performance in each environment.


Thirty-seven participants were evaluated with the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) in home and clinic environments using a counterbalanced design. Demographic, physical, cognitive, psychological, and environmental characteristics were also collected.


Thirty-three participants were retained for analysis. A statistically significant difference (> ±2 standard errors of measurement) between environments was found in 33% of the participants on the motor scale and the same proportion on the process scale. A clinically meaningful difference (based on cut-off scores predicting need for assistance) was noted in 30% of the participants. Better performance at home on the process scale was associated with a decrease in some executive functions, while better performance in the clinic on the motor scale was mostly related to a decline in grip strength.


Our findings may help occupational therapists identify frail patients for whom home assessments would be advisable prior to discharge so that assistance provided meets their needs at home.

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