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Performance Skills

 

Performance Skills

Performance skills refer to “goal-directed actions that are observable as small units of engagement in daily life occupations,” such as motor skills, process skills, and social interaction skills (AOTA, 2014, p.S8) Performance skills are produced by the effective use of body functions and structures within the environment. For example, an individual uses strength and range of motion in order to achieve the fine motor coordination necessary to manipulate a pencil when writing a sentence.

 

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a) Motor skills 

Motor skills refer the skilled use of body functions and structures for purposeful movement. Examples include manipulating objects (fine motor coordination), reaching for objects (gross motor coordination), maintaining pace during task, sitting upright, rolling, standing, walking, etc.

RELATED ICE VIDEOS

Search the ICE Video Library for the titles below, or for keywords such as: fine motor, motor skills, coordination, gait, rolling, scooting, and sitting balance.

b) Process skills 

Process skills refer to the skilled use of body functions and structures to carry out a task. Examples include selecting and interacting with tools and objects, sequencing steps, staying on task, asking questions, and modifying performance when encountering problems. 

RELATED ICE VIDEOS

Search the ICE Video Library for the titles below, or for keywords such as: problem solving, function, ADL, dressing, sequencing, and timing.

  • Peds Assessment: Administration of the Test of Visual Motor Skills
  • Dementia Part 1: Grooming and Hygiene
  • Spinal Stenosis 3 months post surgery: ADLs during breakfast
  • Hip Fracture: Self Care at the sink
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Problems Observed in the Home, Part 5
  • Femur Fracture, 5 Weeks Post Surgery: Advanced Practice Skills During IADLs

c) Social interaction skills  

Social interaction skills refer to the skilled use of body functions and structures to interact appropriately with others in any given social situation. Examples include initiating conversation, communicating verbally and with gestures, responding to touch from others, displaying emotions, inhibiting behavior, taking turns, etc.  

RELATED ICE VIDEOS

Search the ICE Video Library for the titles below, or for keywords such as: social participation, Ben (patient 001), Jo (patient 024), and Janita Torres (patient 027).

  • Femur Fracture: 5 Weeks Post Surgery: Advanced practice skills during IADLs
  • Femur Fracture, 5 Weeks Post Surgery: Patient Interview in Preparation to Return Home
  • Self-Care: Dressing in Acute Care, Part 2
  • Assessment in Acute Care, Part 1: Initial Interview
  • Dementia Part 2: Doffing Socks

QUESTIONS 

Ask these questions when watching the related videos.

  1. How do the social interaction skills of one patient differ from another patient? How do social interaction skills affect their overall treatment progress?
  2. How are performance skills affected by one’s values, beliefs, and spirituality? 
  3. How are performance skills affected by one’s body functions and structures?
  4. How are performance skills affected by one’s environment and/or social support system?
  5. How are performance skills affected by anxiety, depression, or fear?
  6. How do performance skills become a habit or routine?

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Amanda K. Giles, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor
Division of Occupational Therapy
College of Health Professions
Medical University of South Carolina