Application of the Person-Environment-Occupation Model: A practice tool

February 19, 2009

(Strong, Rigby, Stewarts, Law, & Cooper, 1999)

Strong, S., Rigby, P., Stewarts, D., Law, M., & Cooper, B. (1999). Application of the Person-Environment-Occupation Model: A practical tool. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66(3) 122-133.

  • Since PEO Model was initially proposed as a tool to examine complex occupational performance issues, it has been used in hospitals, community, academic and research settings (p. 123)
  • The PEO Model was developed using concepts mainly from environmental-behavior theories, theories of occupation, and client centered practice (p. 123)
  • The model is conceptualized as the person, his/her envir. and occupaions dynamically interacting over time. The main diminsions are represented by inter-related circles or spheres. The amount of overlap demonstrated the amount of congruence in the areas. the more they overlap the more the harmont or fit. The area in the center of the overlap represents occupational performance (p. 124)
  • The level of satisfaction of an experience is usually related to the fit
  • There are internal/local and external/macro changes that can occur and impact fit
  • Ex. over time there is change in peoples age, health as they move through the life cycle and developmental phases. The changes require changes within the PEO transaction in order to result in a satisfying functional outcome (p. 124)
  • An Example of PEO with a client:
  • Person = interests, values, sensory and motor abilities, decision-making, problem-solving, and finances
  • Environment = resources available from the hospital and at home
  • physical characteristics of home and community
  • friends
  • Occupation = meal choices, time demands, organizational and physical requirements of meal preparation, and options for obtaining meal
  • When applying the model it allows therapists to analyze complicated situations, plan interventions, and focus on what is important for enabling optimal occ. performance (p. 125)
  • The PEO is being used by OTs in a variety of settings and has been found to be a practical too to assist practice (p. 131)
  • A strength of the model is that it allows therapist to consider the complex nature of human functioning and experience in the day to day lives
  • It allows the consideration of human development and change. (p. 132) PEO elements trasacting over the lifespan across changing situations
  • It allows a systematic approach to analyze occupational performance issues
  • It assists therapists to put their activities into a framwork that has a broad scope of occupational therapy practice and offers multiple options for intervention
  • This model encourages communication within and outside the profession (p.132)
  • It allows therapists to explain themselves and others what they do
  • The model is easy to understand and does not appear to be culturally bound (p. 132)
  • It embodies principles of client-centered practice and supports collaboration working partnership (CAOT, 1997)
  • The PEO facilitates practice by:
  • considering the complexities of human function and experience
  • offering a systematic approach to the analysis of occupational performance issues
  • Expanding the scope of practice and options for inervention
  • Facilitating communication within and outside the profession
  • Supporting the pursuit and continued development of client-centered community based practice(p.133)



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