The APM is a clinician-developed tool, which is intended to respond to the known difficulties with current approaches to measuring activity performance (i.e. activities of daily living) and participation (involvement in life situations). Briefly, the APM consists of 28 activity items, ranging from mobilising in the home through to complex social activities. The way a person performs an activity item is rated on a 0-4 scale (if the item is relevant to the person). The item scores are combined to produce an Activity Summary and a Participation Summary score. For acute admissions, three time points are covered (premorbid, admission and discharge), allowing each person to act as their own reference point when analysing changes over time and clinical interventions. In the case of chronic conditions, only admission and discharge are covered. The intention of the APM is to be a generic, clinician- or researcher-rated measure completed in semi-structured face-to-face interviews before and after an episode of care. The information required to complete the APM is commonly collected by holistic services and clinicians addressing activity performance.

The APM is rooted in the ICF’s conceptual framework and terminology, and integrates a number of innovations including a flexible, broadly defined item set. The scoring system is structured around behaviour and highly tangible aspects of how people interact with their environment rather than based on subjectively variable concepts such as difficulty or dependence. Account is also taken of habitual lifestyles and preferences with the overall aim of producing individualized yet comparable metrics. In addition to summary scores of activity performance and participation, the APM could also be used to produce more detailed information such as items of most change or changes in compensatory performance methods across time points. The conceptual framework underpinning the APM is based in part on the notion of evolved human functions, which underlie and drive individual behavioural, environmental and subjective variability and sociocultural values.

A quick and easy way to understand what makes the APM different is to see it used in action – a 10-minute online training video can be found here.

For a detailed text description of the APM click here.

For information on the theoretical background and measurement qualities of the APM, see the peer-reviewed paper in Disability and Rehabilitation journal