Friday, April 15, 2011

OT A to Z: M is for Model

Thanks to the suggestions of of @pinkypanda, the OT "M" is for model. Models provide a conceptual tool to assist in translating our theories into practice. Models are not prescriptive with regard to intervention activities, but rather provide a set of guidelines or principles which OTs can apply in developing their approach to working with clients. Fortunately, research surrounding several OT models has been robust which has facilitated the development of associated standardized assessment measures.

Two widely known models in OT practice are The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) and the Canadian Measure of Occupational Performance and Engagement (CMOP-E). Although each is unique in it s approach, both models seek to explain the process through which humans engage in occupations. MOHO has several assessment tools associated with it and the CMOP-E provides the foundations for the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM).
Due to the overarching principles addressed through models, they can applied to a variety of client populations and OT settings.

A newer conceptual model in OT is the Kawa Model. This interesting conceptual model uses a river as a metaphor for life and enables a person to consider the rocks or challenges they have encountered.

If you are an OT student, how has learning and understanding supported your understanding of OT?

If you are a practitioner, has your view or understanding of a specific model changed over time?


  1. I know a few people who aren't keen on models but they're one aspect of my training that I've particularly enjoyed! Although I know that OT is bigger than any model, understanding models gave me a "oh so that's what OT is" eureka moment.

    One of our lecturers advised us to become familiar with the MOHO book. Without realising it, I now consider a person's values, interests, roles, skills, habits, physical/social environments.. (admittedly, I'm a bit obsessed with MOHO!).

    I'm known as The MOHO Fan Club at uni, but that's only because I have conversations that go like this:
    Me: So which model are we going to use?
    Classmate: CMOP-E.
    Me: OK, but why?
    Classmate: Because it's holistic.
    Me: But so is MOHO...
    Classmate: Well it's client centered.
    Me: So is MOHO
    Classmate: What I mean is, your assessment is self report
    Me: You mean COPM? But there are self report MOHO assessments..

    (I would absolutely love for someone to give me reasons why CMOP-E is better.. )

    I've recently really taken to Kawa and currently designing a hypothetical service based on it.

    I love models. But Michael Iwama said something that has really stuck with me (just wish I could find it written down to cite in assignments!): "Think of the OT as a dog, and a model as the dog's tail. The tail doesn't wag the dog!"

    1. Hi. Im an OT student in New Zealand. Im really struggling to make sense of the models, well no that's wrong, they make sense but what Im finding hard is remembering them so my brain owns them. Any suggestions would be welcome. thx. Graeme