Lifestyle Performance Model: Definition & Domains

Instructor: Daniel Murdock

Daniel has taught Public Health at the graduate level and has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences & Health Education.

The lifestyle performance model is a holistic approach to the study and practice of occupational therapy. In this lesson, we explore the principles of the model and the four major domains by which lifestyle performance can be measured.

Occupational Performance

Many different factors affect our quality of life. Our ability to perform daily living activities, such as eating and dressing, can have a huge impact on our health and well-being. Occupational therapy can help improve the lives of people who have difficulty performing important life tasks. The goal of occupational therapy is to improve function and enhance occupational performance, which refers to a person's ability to engage in daily living activities. But measuring occupational performance can be a difficult task. It is often assessed using both objective and subjective criteria.

An occupational therapist teaches one of her clients how to use a spoon.
Occupational therapist

Objective criteria are things that therapists can easily measure, like whether or not a person can brush his or her teeth. Subjective criteria are things that can only be measured by understanding how a person perceives his or her own experience. How confident is a person in his ability to brush his teeth? How important is this activity to his quality of life? These are questions that can only be answered by the person in therapy. In this lesson, we'll discuss a conceptual model that was developed by occupational therapists to address these issues.

The Lifestyle Performance Model

The lifestyle performance model (LPM) provides a framework for understanding a person's occupational performance within the context of his or her life experience. The LPM argues that a person's quality of life is the single most important issue to consider when it comes to measuring human performance. The model introduces the concept of lifestyle performance as a holistic way of thinking about occupational performance. Lifestyle performance refers to a person's ability to engage in all the activities that compose his or her daily life, not just those related to self-care. This concept emphasizes the subjective way that we experience our quality of life.

A basic principle of the LPM is that our quality of life is a result of interactions between individual and environmental factors. Individual factors include things like personality characteristics, activity choices, and personal values. Environmental factors include things like laws and policies, social customs, and characteristics of our physical surroundings. We experience a higher quality of life when our individual characteristics are compatible with our environment.

Fundamental Human Needs

Fundamental human needs are the most basic human needs that shape our quality of life. Lifestyle performance is maximized when our environment supports activities that address these needs. The lifestyle performance model identifies the following 10 fundamental human needs:

  • Autonomy: Our sense of being in control of our own life
  • Individuality: Our ability to differentiate ourselves from others and verify our identity
  • Affiliation: Our sense of belonging and depending on each other
  • Volition: Our ability to make our own choices and have alternatives
  • Consensual validation: Our ability to get feedback from others regarding our actions
  • Predictability: Our sense of order and our ability to evaluate cause and effect
  • Self-efficacy: Our ability to gather evidence of our competence and to make things happen
  • Adventure: Our ability to try new things
  • Accommodation: Our ability to function in an environment that is sensitive to our limitations
  • Reflection: Our ability to have relief from activity so that we can ponder and reflect

Domains of Lifestyle Performance

There are four activity domains by which lifestyle performance can be measured.

The first is self-care and self-maintenance. Self-care refers to activities that involve meeting one's needs, while self-maintenance refers to activities that are required to live independently in a community. Activities in this domain include things like bathing and eating on our own. These activities help us to achieve a sense of autonomy.

The second domain is intrinsic gratification. These are activities that we pursue for pleasure and enjoyment. These are things like relaxing with a good book, doing a crossword puzzle, or painting a picture. Being able to engage in an activity for the sheer joy of it is an essential part of life satisfaction.

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