Development of the functional progress measure for residents with dementia in long-term care facilities (FPM-D)
Lim, Hyun Jeong
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Aside from a change in their physical environment from home to a long-term care facility, most clients with dementia in a long-term care (LTC) setting experience an advanced level of degenerative change in both cognitive and body functions, which leads to increasing challenges in engagement in occupation. To analyze their occupational performance, establish therapy goals, and measure the outcomes of intervention, occupational therapy practitioners use assessment tools in the therapy process (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014). However, there is the significant mismatch between existing assessment tools and the clinical need to properly capture functional progress in residents with dementia in a LTC setting. Therefore, this project introduces the FPM-D, which was specifically designed for residents with moderate to moderately severe dementia in LTC facilities. To maximize the usefulness of this new instrument, the author reviewed previous attempts made to address the need and obtained feedback from current occupational therapy practitioners in this setting. This new assessment tool is 1) designed to assess the function of clients with dementia; 2) has a progress-tracking feature with different timelines; 3) takes less than 15 minutes for administration; 4) allows customization of target activities, 5) includes only items appropriate for a LTC setting; and 6) assesses both cognitive and physical aspects of function based on the Cognitive Model in occupational therapy practice (Lazzarini, 2005). Along with the development process, this project includes plans for evaluation and dissemination. The follow-up study for evaluation aims to investigate the usefulness of the instrument in the LTC clinical setting and dissemination activities focus on disseminating this innovation in occupational therapy practice. The author believes that this new instrument will make a positive contribution to the quality of occupational therapy services in LTC facilities by effectively meeting the clinical needs of residents with dementia.