Healthy ageing through participation in community situated activities: A scoping review of assessment instruments to support occupational therapy practice

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Introduction: The occupational therapy profession has an essential role to play in healthy ageing that includes enabling participation, a construct that according to The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), incorporates an environmental context. Environmental barriers and enablers of participation in community-situated activities for people over the age of 65 have been identified. To support practice, occupational therapists require assessments with demonstrated content validity including comprehensive coverage of the construct. The purpose of this scoping review study was to investigate what instruments are available to assess community participation for people over the age of 65 that included environmental factors. Methods: A scoping review of the literature was conducted, utilising the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) scoping review methodology. The evidence source was review articles and inclusion criteria were that they reviewed instruments to assess participation that could be used for people over the age of 65. Items extracted from included instruments were evaluated against a preset list of community-participation and environment categories that had been developed from the ICF. Results: Twenty-three review studies met inclusion criteria and from these 240 instruments were extracted. Twenty instruments were retained after exclusions and from these, 540 instrument items were extracted. Of these, 280 (47%) were coded as community-participation, and only 20 (3.4%) as environment items. Fourteen of the instruments included no environment items. Conclusions: No instrument was identified that comprehensively assessed community participation including the related environmental factors. Such an instrument is required to enable occupational therapy practitioners to support healthy ageing. The development of such an instrument will strengthen the profession's capacity to develop new ways of delivering services to older adults in line with emerging ways that aged care will be delivered and to advance its essential role in healthy ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-509
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • assessment
  • community participation
  • content validity
  • environmental factors
  • healthy ageing

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