Individualized outcome measures: a review of the literature

Can J Occup Ther. 2002 Apr;69(2):84-94. doi: 10.1177/000841740206900204.


The client-centred nature of occupational therapy acknowledges the individual as the central element of treatment. This philosophy, however, challenges the therapist to choose an outcome measure that is capable of reflecting this individualized perspective. Recent papers published in the rehabilitation literature have reported on the increased responsiveness of such measures over traditional self-report questionnaires. Although the need for a comprehensive review of individualized outcome measures has been identified in the literature, none exists to date. The purpose of this paper is to review six individualized outcome measures that have been identified in the rehabilitation and psychology literature. The measures include: the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills, McMaster (MAC) Toronto Arthritis, Goal Attainment Scaling, Target Complaints and the Patient Specific Functional Scale. The reliability, validity, responsiveness and clinical utility of each outcome measure was examined and critiqued. Each tool, to a varying degree, met the description of a standardized, client-centred outcome measure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Severity of Illness Index