There are several widely used models and frameworks underpinning Occupational Therapy Practice. When supervising a student it can be helpful to use a model as a guideline for discussing assessment and treatment plans.
The Canadian Model of Occupational Performance places the person at the centre of the model, fundamentally addressing their spirituality as it guides their completion of activities within given environments. Occupational Therapy practice under this model addresses the interaction between person, environment and occupation, where occupation is broadly described as a leisure, productivity or self-care activity. For more information visit
The Occupational Performance Model (Australia, OPMA)
The primary focus of this model is the relationship between the human and their environment and how occupation affects this relationship throughout an individual's lifetime.
Eight major constructs form the theoretical structure of this model. These are occupational performance, occupational performance roles, occupational performance areas, components of occupational performance, core elements of occupational performance, environment, space and time. The therapist aims to address enablers and barriers a person may face within each of these constructs and therapy is guided by the outcomes. For a full description of this model, the Occupational Performance Model Australia website is available.
The Person-Environment Occupation (PEO) Model
THE PEO model has three major components that describe what people do in their daily lives, what motivates them and how their personal characteristics combine with the situations in which occupations are undertaken to influence successful occupational performance (Christiansen & Baum, 1997, pp. 48-70). The model proposes that through their occupations people develop their self-identity and derive a sense of fulfilment – over time, these meaningful experiences permit people to develop an understanding of who they are and what their place is in the world performance (Christiansen & Baum).
Model of Human Occupation (MOHO)
Kielhofner et al (1980, p. 778) produced the Model of Human Occupation where the focus was on the ‘Internal Organisation of the Human System’ that lead us to undertake certain behaviours in given environments when performing given tasks. Kielhofner (1980, p. 779) believed that The ‘Human System’ is made up of a set of subsystems; the Volition Subsystem (a system of dispositions and self-knowledge that predisposes and enables persons to anticipate, choose, experience and interpret occupational behaviour), the Habituation Subsystem (an internal organisation of information that disposes the human system to exhibit recurrent patterns of behaviour) and the Mind-Brain-Body Performance Subsystem (the organisation of physical and mental constituents which together make up the capacity for occupational performance).
The Kawa Model
“The Kawa model attempts to explain occupational therapy’s overall purpose, strategies for interpreting a client’s circumstances and clarify the rationale and application of occupational therapy within the client’s particular social and cultural context.
Structure of the River as a Metaphor for “Life Energy” or “Life Flow”
The Kawa (Japanese for ‘River’) model uses the metaphor or image of a river as it occurs in nature as a symbolic representation of life. The complex dynamic that characterises an Eastern perspective of harmony in life between self and context might be best explained through a familiar metaphor of nature. The river is employed as a symbol for the life course. It has its beginning at higher elevations and its termination somewhere, lower down along the course of time.” (http://kawamodel.com/).
For full concepts and structure, go to the link http://kawamodel.com/concept-and-structure.
Consider which model or models of practice work cohesively within your workplace setting. Select one model of practice and apply it to a case study during a supervision session with your student. How did it work?
Iwama, M. (2006). The Kawa Model; Culturally Relevant Occupational Therapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone-Elsevier Press. Retrieved from http://kawamodel.com/
Kielhofner, G., Burke, J. & Igi, C. (1980). A Model of Human Occupation, Part 4: Assessment and Intervention. American Journal Occupational Therapy, 34, 12, 777-788. retrieved from http://ajot.aotapress.net/content/34/12/777.full.pdf
Law, M., Cooper, B., Strong, S., Stewart, D., Rigby, P., & Letts, L. (1996a). The person-environment-occupation model: A transactive approach to occupational performance. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 9-23.
Townsend, E. (Ed.). (2002). Enabling Occupation: An Occupational Therapy Perspective. Canada: CAOT PUBNS.