What are some suitable assessments for occupational therapists to perform over telehealth with clients?
Here are some examples of assessments that occupational therapists may consider using during telehealth sessions. However, it’s important to note that the choice of assessments should be based on the specific needs and goals of the client, as well as the therapist’s clinical judgment. Here are a few assessments that can be adapted for telehealth:
- Self-report Measures: Occupational therapists can use various standardized self-report measures to gather information about a client’s occupational performance, satisfaction, and well-being. Examples include the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), the Occupational Self-Assessment (OSA), or the Assessment of Life Habits (LIFE-H). 2. Functional Assessments: Occupational therapists can observe and assess a client’s functional abilities through videoconferencing. This can include tasks such as activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and mobility assessments. Therapists can guide clients through activities and observe their performance to identify areas of difficulty or improvement.
- Cognitive Assessments: Certain cognitive assessments can be adapted for telehealth, focusing on areas such as attention, memory, executive functioning, and problem-solving. Examples include the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) or the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
- Environmental Assessments: Occupational therapists can collaborate with clients and caregivers to assess the physical environment and make recommendations for modifications or adaptations. This can involve a virtual tour of the client’s living space, discussing potential barriers, and providing suggestions for optimizing the environment.
- Mental Health Assessments: Telehealth allows for the administration of mental health assessments, such as depression and anxiety scales, using validated self-report measures. Examples include the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for depression or the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale (GAD-7) for anxiety.
It’s important for occupational therapists to consider the limitations and adaptations required when conducting assessments remotely. They should ensure that the chosen assessments are appropriate for telehealth, maintain confidentiality and privacy, and establish clear instructions for clients to perform tasks or answer questions. Additionally, therapists may need to modify assessments based on the technology and resources available to both the therapist and the client during telehealth sessions.
Leanne Hopkins is an Occupational Therapist at Succeed Healthcare Solutions and is passionate about creating a world where families thrive. If you or someone you know is interested in undertaking therapy via telehealth with a team trained and experienced in telehealth for several years, please contact us and arrange a free 15-minute Discovery Interview to see how we can assist.