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Activity Card Sort (ACS-UK) Project

Sarah MallinsonAt York St John University research led by Alison Laver-Fawcett is focussing on the development of measures of occupational engagement, with a current project to develop a UK version of the Activity Card Sort.  In 2009/10 a third year undergraduate dissertation project, jointly supervised by Alison and Stephen Wey, explored occupational engagement in people with dementia and carers of people with dementia using the United States version of the ACS second edition (ACS: Baum & Edwards 2001; 2008).  In this study the ACS was identified as a very useful measure but cultural sensitivity issues were highlighted.   Therefore, Sarah Mallinson and Alison-Laver Fawcett undertook a one year content validity study to identify the items for a United Kingdom version of the Activity Card Sort (ACS-UK).  Further third year undergraduate projects supervised by Alison have been focussing on content validity and face validity studies.  

Occupational therapists at the Retreat, a founding partner of RCOMH, are involved in plans for further studies to explore the validity and reliability of the ACS(UK).

The ACS is a self-report measure of occupational participation that requires older adults to sort photographs, of other older people performing a range of activities, into different categories of engagement. It was originally developed in America to measure, monitor and adapt the occupational participation/engagement of older people with Alzheimer’s disease (Baum 1993; Baum, 1995) and has since been successfully applied to wider populations, receiving robust empirical support (e.g., Carpenter et al., 2007; Everard et al., 2000). Recent research, however, has demonstrated that whilst the ACS is an effective assessment tool it is most useful when the activities depicted are specific to the older person’s culture (e.g., Katz et al., 2003; Chan et al., 2006; Doney & Packer, 2008). In fact, eight countries (US, Australia, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Hong-Kong, Korea, Israel, and Singapore) have culturally adapted the activities of ACS with good effect to date. As the ACS has clear empirical support and is of important practical use for occupational therapists, it was felt that a version specific to the culture of the UK need be devised in order for its use with older UK adults to maintain integrity. This project was supported by internal funding from YSJU and by Dr. Carolyn Baum and Dr. Dorothy Edwards (authors of the original ACS), provided valued advice and data related to the eight existing version of the ACS.

For further information, a full reference list and / or to become involved future research related to the development of the ACS-UK please email Alison E:a.laverfawcett@yorksj.ac.uk.

Laver-Fawcett AJ, Mallinson S H (2013).  Development of the Activity Card Sort - United Kingdom version (ACS-UK). OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 33 (3), 134-145. DOI: 10.3928/15394492-20130614-02