Evaluation Tools for Mental Health Therapy

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EvaluationTools for Mental Health Therapy


Mental health patients need to be evaluated using establishedscientific techniques. In particular, occupational therapy focuses ona person’s immediate challenges. If the client’s problem isconcerned with social interaction, then the OT practitioner mustdevelop interventions to promote cooperation with others (Sames,2014). The aim of this paper is to examine some of the evaluationtools that have been proposed for the sake of mental healthoccupational therapy. The contents of the document focus on oneassessment tool customarily used in mental health OT.

Several evaluation tools are currently used by occupationaltherapists in the field of mental health. Some of these methodsinclude the Occupational Performance History Interview (OPHI),Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), ActivityConfiguration, Occupational Self-Assessment (OSA), COPE Inventory,Acceptance of Disability Scale, and Occupational Role History (Cara &ampMacRae, 2013). Other evaluation tools include Glasgow AssessmentScale (GAS), Geriatric Depression Scale, Interest Checklist, BeckDepression Inventory (BDI), and School Function Assessment (SFA)(Cara &amp MacRae, 2013). Based on client functioning, OPHI, BDI,and OSA can be grouped together. Furthermore, COPE Inventory and COPMcan be placed in the same unit. The third group would comprise of SFAand GAS while the fourth classification would include the GeriatricDepression Scale and the Interest Checklist.

The Work Environment Impact Scale (WEIS) refers to a semi-structuredinterview process with a 4-point rating system (Moore-Corner,Kielhifner, &amp Olson, 1998). The questions are designed todetermine how an individual with a disability can experience and viewtheir work settings. Hence, the interview focuses on the impact ofthe work environment on a person’s well-being, satisfaction, andperformance. The WEIS is used for the sake of individuals who may beemployed or planning to return to a particular kind of work(Moore-Corner et al., 1998). The most suitable participants in thisscale include persons who suffer illness and injury while at work.Furthermore, the tool could be useful in identifying how past workenvironments had an indelible impact on satisfaction andproductivity. The therapist has the mandate to modify interviews toalign with a client’s personal circumstances.

Notably, the authors of WEIS are Rene A. Moore-Corner, GaryKielhofner, and Linda Olson. The first study on WEIS was completed byCorner, Kielhofner, and Lin in 1997. Subsequently, Olson also foundevidence for the validity of WEIS barely a year later (Moore-Corneret al., 1998). Occupational therapists desiring to obtain the toolmust consult with the Model of Human Occupation Clearinghouse,Department of Occupational Therapy. Moreover, the department islocated in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the Universityof Illinois in Chicago.

The descriptive clinical purpose can be applied to the WEIS since itcan outline the entire circumstances afflicting the patient. In thisrespect, the occupational therapist seeks to understand the history,interests, habits, roles, desired outcomes, and level of professionalengagement (Cara &amp MacRae, 2013). A descriptive assessment toolgathers pertinent information about environmental barriers that haveto be overcome to ensure successful treatment (Cara &amp MacRae,2013). On the other hand, facilitators have to be optimized to attainpositive outcomes (Cara &amp MacRae, 2013). The assessment may beundertaken in a manner that enables a client to reveal the impact oftheir work environment on their personality and well-being. Theclinical purpose of WEIS can be determined by comparing the fourtypes of assessment. For example, discriminative assessment is usedto make comparisons between groups and individuals (Cara &ampMacRae, 2013). Predictive assessment is utilized to make predictionsabout a client’s future behavior in an alternate environment. Onthe other hand, evaluative assessment is undertaken to examinegradual changes in symptoms and effectiveness of adoptedinterventions (Cara &amp MacRae, 2013). Consequently, descriptiveassessment works best with WEIS.

WEIS fulfills the aspect of relevance since it provides informationthat outlines the impact of work setting on an individual’sperformance and satisfaction. The tool is feasible since it can beadministered with available resources and does not require furthertraining. Furthermore, the cost incurred in conducting the test isworth the benefits enjoyed by the clients. The scores obtained usingthe evaluation tool are quite reliable since they reflect anindividual’s true performance. Indeed, WEIS measures what itpurports to measure by asking pointed questions. Notably, the mentalhealth occupational therapist does not need to include otherprofessionals in administering the test. The assessment iscustomarily undertaken either in the person’s place of residence orat the occupational therapy department (Cara &amp MacRae, 2013).WEIS is occupation-based since it uses questions about anindividual’s work setting. Additionally, the evaluation tool cannotbe categorized as a norm-referenced test. Hence, the sample ofpersons used to provide data does not have to be of the same agegroup (Cole, 2011). WEIS focuses on either working or unemployedindividuals. Therefore, it does not specify particular symptoms amongthe participants. Besides, the client’s responses are notinfluenced by fatigue, medication, or time of day.

Indeed, various evaluation tools can be used to enhance occupationaltherapy. In particular, WEIS can be utilized to reveal the effects ofwork environment on an individual’s personality and temperament.The tool could be useful for both employed and unemployed people. Thesets of questions are designed to obtain elaborate details from therespondent. Therefore, WEIS is a primary evaluation tool for OTpractitioners desiring to gain a better understanding of theirclients.


Cara, E. &amp MacRae, A. (2013). Psychosocial occupationaltherapy: An evolving practice (3rd ed.). Clifton Park,NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Cole, M. B. (2011). Group dynamics in Occupational Therapy: Thetheoretical basis and practice application of group intervention.Thorofare, N.J.: Slack Inc.

Moore-Corner, R. A., Kielhifner, G., &amp Olson, L. (1998). Auser`s guide to work environment impact scale (WEIS). Chicago,Ill.: University of Illinois at Chicago.

Sames, K. M. (2014). Documenting Occupational Therapy Practice(3rd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Pearson.

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