Information for Researchers

Using CO-OP In Research

CO-OP is a complex intervention with seven key features, five of which are essential elements. Therapists who implement CO-OP often find this to be more challenging than they had imagined it would be, and those implementing it for research purposes, where a high standard of treatment fidelity is required, find this more so. While researchers do not need permission from the ICAN to do CO-OP research, it is strongly recommended that certified CO-OP therapists implement the CO-OP ApproachTM (Please see our Becoming a Certified Therapist page).

Further, it is strongly recommended that the researchers video record a sample of the therapists’ treatment sessions and review them using the Fidelity Checklist provided on this site, to ensure a high standard of CO-OP fidelity. We would love to hear about any CO-OP research that you are doing.


While researchers have chosen to use a wide range of measures in CO-OP research, this section highlights those that are typically embedded within the Approach.

The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM)

“The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) is an individualized measure designed for use by occupational therapists to detect a client’s self-perceived change in occupational performance over time.” (Order from the COPM website)

Paediatric Activity Card Sort (PACS)

“This assessment tool focuses on measuring occupation in the paediatric population. It contains high quality pictures of children engaged in typical childhood occupations. These help to determine the child’s level of occupational performance and engagement. For ages 6 – 12.” (Order from the CAOT website)

Performance Quality Rating Scale (PQRS)

The PQRS is an observational tool used to assess an individual’s performance quality on a 10-point scale.  For more information, please see:

Martini R, Polatajko H. Verbal self-guidance as a treatment approach for children with developmental coordination disorder: A systematic replication study. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research 1998;18(4):157-81. [Abstract]

Martini R, Rios J, Polatajko H, Wolf T, McEwen S. The performance quality rating scale (PQRS): reliability, convergent validity, and internal responsiveness for two scoring systems. Disability and Rehabilitation 2015;37(3):231-8. [Pubmed]