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Am J Occup Ther. 1998 May;52(5):337-44.

Occupation-centered assessment of children.

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Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


The past 5 years have seen increasing calls to reexamine our assessment and intervention practices to ensure that they reflect the profession's basic focus on occupation. Although a number of noteworthy efforts in this direction have been presented for adult practice areas, implementation of occupation-centered assessment in pediatric has been hampered by the lack of a consistent framework to guide this process. This article will present an adaptation of the functional assessment model proposed by Trombly (1993) designed to better reflect the unique needs and situations of children. It is a multilevel model that examines the pattern of a child's occupations in a particular environment as well as the performance of important tasks and activities that are part of these occupations. It is proposed that this model can serve as an organizing framework for an occupation-centered assessment process by helping to identify the critical questions that need to be addressed at each level of analysis and the kinds of measures that might be used to obtain relevant information. The newly completed School Function Assessment will be used to illustrate application of the framework to examine occupational performance of children in elementary school.

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