Skip to main content

Focus on occupational therapy tool brings international collaboration to IUPUI



INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis recently hosted an international group that is developing a new version of an occupational therapy diagnostic tool used worldwide. The revised tool was created by Patricia Scott, an associate professor in the school’s Department of Occupational Therapy.

Established in the 1980s as a diagnostic tool for occupational therapists to develop detailed and personalized intervention plans for their clients as understood through the Model of Human Occupation, the Role Checklist has become an internationally used tool that has been translated into 13 languages. It is based on the idea that roles are patterns of behavior that allow individuals to be productive members of society and identify their ways of participating in society.
The checklist is particularly effective in guiding treatment, then measuring treatment outcomes for people with disabilities whose self-identities may have changed as a result of their disability.

The International Alliance for the Study of Role Participation was created to further develop, widely translate and study the new version, Role Checklist Version 2. Members of the group include researchers from Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and the United States. The group was also joined at the meeting in Indianapolis by Renee Taylor, vice provost and professor of occupational therapy at the University of Illinois Chicago.

“We are truly pleased to host the global team as they continue to research and develop this clinical practice tool that is certain to resonate throughout the occupational therapy profession,” said Augustine Agho, dean of the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Among the team’s agenda, researchers reviewed study data collected globally, created a task-list for an administrative manual, reviewed the scoring algorithm and finalized the translation guidelines, and discussed potential funding sources for future projects.

“It was an ambitious agenda, and we made great strides by approving the translation protocol and completing the cross-cultural linking of the Role Checklist Version 2,” Scott said. “We next look forward to expanding the network to colleagues in 15 other countries. This expansion will enable us to engage occupational therapy researchers and practitioners on every continent, and every region of our globe.”

The team’s meeting at IUPUI is an important aspect of the Role Checklist’s placement in research and practice because it furthers the ability to measure participation outcomes in translational research on a global scale.

Funding for the team’s conference came from the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research in support of establishing a Global Center for Health, Disability and Participation in Society on the IUPUI campus.

Aside from their intense work agenda, the international guests were able to take advantage of Indianapolis’ highlights. This included a special request to attend a Pacers/Nuggets basketball game and to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner — especially turkey. These wishes were made possible through the help of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Rick Hofstetter, owner of Story Inn in Brown County, where the group enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

The Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences offers five major academic programs: Health Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies. Current research labs within the school include the Center for Translational Musculoskeletal Research, Advanced Neurorehabilitation Research Lab, Applied Regenerative Medicine Lab, Pulmonary Physiology Lab, Community Mobility and Participation in Society, Silver Hoosiers Health and Aging Research Lab, and Driving Safety and Rehabilitation Research Lab.