This model includes two basic concepts, adaptation (i.e. adjustment to the environment) and occupation (i.e., action or behavior of a member in the group). Through individual member’s actions within the group, adaptation occurs. The model is action-orientated and promotes adaptation through action. By participating in purposeful activities, the members in the group adapt, exhibit goal-oriented behaviors, and experience feelings of personal satisfaction. There are four types of actions that promote adaptation in a functional group; these are purposeful action, self-initiated action, spontaneous action, and group-centered action. A functional group encompasses a common group goal, and there are dynamic interactions among the members. It involves four stages, which the group is designed, formed, developed, and concluded. Occupational therapists assess and take appropriate leadership action at each stage to ensure the functioning of the group and the member’s growth and change. Occupational therapists, as a leader, have different roles during the phases. During the design stage, therapists define goals, develop plans, select members, and outline a group structure. During forming, therapists develop norms and get members acquainted, and to support development of an environment that is purposeful, self-initiated, spontaneous, and support group-centered actions. Therapists evaluate the group progress and each member to identify and mange problems. During the last phase, therapists ensure that members can generalize their learning to outside the group and retain the change with a concrete sense of accomplishments. Assessments including observation, needs assessment and content and process analysis are used. Generic assessments including group dynamics assessment are used, e.g., sociogram which indicates types of roles assumed by members. Others include meeting evaluation to assess content, feedback form to assess feeling and experience. There are specific assessments for functional group, e.g., Functional Group Protocol and Session Evaluation Form. Other forms, e.g., Leader Self-Assessment forms, are used to structure leader reflection and self-assessment. Members are encouraged to observe and evaluate the group process towards the goal.
- Macey Cho
- Model (conceptual)
Domain of occupation
Occupational therapists are responsible for different roles to facilitate adaptation and learning through actions in the functional group.
Kielhofner, G. (2009). The functional group model. In G. Kielhofner (Ed.), Conceptual foundations of occupational therapy practice (pp.110-129). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.
- Gary Kielhofner