This model is symbolized as an infinity symbol, which emphasizes that independence is a continuum without a start or an end. An individual’s independence can exist at any point within this continuum. Inside the symbol, there are two sides representing two themes, they are personal factors and environmental factors. The lighter (left) side of the model represents personal factors, which consists of personal attributes. These include personal attributes (self-governance, self-reliance, self-confidence, self-realization, self-perception and self-determination), competence (the capability to make decisions and the ability to perform everyday tasks successfully) and autonomy (the ability to make decisions and be self-governed), control (having choice and directing daily activities), and function (both physical and cognitive abilities that contribute to a sense of functional independence). The darker (right) side of the model is environmental factors, which are the features relating to independence that lies outside the person, including culture, context, environment and safety. Occupational therapists understand the unique personal factors of each client and apprehend how they can facilitate independence. This model emphasizes that independence is defined by the client and is discussed and mutually understood between the therapist and the client, which may evolve through therapeutic intervention. The client’s physical and cognitive function and his/her ability to make choices are both considered during the process. Therapists should also consider the client’s environmental factors such as different culture values and change in life context when interpreting independence and enabling goal attainment. This model highlights the components of independence to identify strength and limitations, and to guide therapeutic intervention.
Domain of occupation
This model enables a standardized foundation for the examination of the concept of independence.
Bonikowsky, S., Musto, A., Suteu, K. A., MacKenzie, S., Dennis, D. (2012). Independence: An analysis of a complex and core construct in occupational therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(4), 188-195.