The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure: a research and clinical literature review

Can J Occup Ther. 2004 Oct;71(4):210-22. doi: 10.1177/000841740407100406.


Background: It has been 13 years since the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) was published. In that time there has been a remarkable growth in its acceptance as an outcome measure within the occupational therapy practice and research.

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review the emerging research and clinical literature related to the COPM since 1994 and to document its impact upon occupational therapy practice and research throughout the world.

Method: A systematic search was conducted to the professional and research literature in English publications (primarily occupational therapy). Eighty-eight papers that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed, 86% of which examined the COPM in relation to its psychometric properties (19 papers), research outcomes (33 papers) or practice (33 papers).

Results: Overall, although there are a few limitations discussed in the review, the conclusion is that the COPM is a valid, reliable, clinically useful and responsive outcome measure acceptable for occupational therapist practitioners and researchers.

Practice implications: The COPM is used with a wide variety of clients, enables client-centred practice, facilitates evidence-based practice and supports outcomes research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Canada
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*