Activity analysis is used to evaluate the motor, sensory, cognitive,emotional, behavioural, cultural and social areas of the tasks being carried out in order to complete an activity. In this example, the Biopsychosocial approach is being used to guide the assessment of the patient.
Canelón et al analysed a patient who was experiencing pain in her right wrist following an injury in the workplace and subsequent hand surgery. The patient’s job involved processing insurance paperwork based at a desk workstation, and she was experiencing continued pain despite having an operation and prescribed medication to help with the pain.
They carried out an on-site job evaluation and analysed each motor movement she carried out in great detail at her workplace. They also evaluated her communication style and social interaction with colleagues, concentration and organisation, emotional areas such as her need for gratification, and cultural influences.
For each movement or behavior that was causing increased repetitive movement of her hand they proposed an adaption.
This included practical alterations such as moving the keyboard and monitor, as well as solutions to emotional problems like an aggressive work ethic causing the patient to over-work and do more repetitive actions than required in an attempt to out-do colleagues and complete the most amount of work. Therapeutic solutions suggested to overcome this problem were role plays to tolerate perceived flaws in colleagues’ work and hence reduce the amount of work she felt she needed to do in order to compensate, and pacing techniques to create breaks for her hand’s repetitive behaviour.
Canelón MF, Ervin EM (1997) ‘An On-Site Job Evaluation Performed Via Activity Analysis’ American Journal of Occupational Therapy 51(2) pp 144-153