Nikki Williamson Weiner, Joan Toglia, Christine Berg; Weekly Calendar Planning Activity (WCPA): A Performance-Based Assessment of Executive Function Piloted With At-Risk Adolescents. Am J Occup Ther 2012;66(6):699–708. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004754
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We piloted the Weekly Calendar Planning Activity (WCPA), a performance-based measure of executive function (EF), to establish a baseline for at-risk adolescents.
METHOD. Participants were 113 youths ages 16–21 who were enrolled at a charter school for youth returning to high school after dropping out. We administered the WCPA and collected demographic information.
RESULTS. On average, participants spent 15.9 min on the WCPA, made 7.9 errors, and followed 4.0 of 5 possible rules. No ceiling effect was observed in overall accuracy. Participants used a mean of 3.1 strategies (standard deviation = 1.9) while completing the WCPA. Participants who used more strategies spent more time planning and completing the task and were more accurate.
CONCLUSION. The WCPA may be useful to occupational therapists as a performance measure of EF. This assessment allows evaluation of complex task performance, strategy use, self-evaluation of performance, and error patterns, which can be used in developing intervention strategies.
Do not schedule appointments on Wednesday.
Do not answer questions from the examiner.
Tell the examiner when it is [7 min after the test begins].
Do not cross out entered appointments on the calendar.
Tell the examiner when you are finished.
This task was easy for me.
I used an efficient approach to this task.
I had no difficulty doing this task.
I kept track of everything I needed to do.
I do tasks like this—use a planner or keep a schedule.
I would do this task the same way if I did it again.
Occupational therapy has a practical performance-based tool for identifying EF skills in high school students struggling academically.
We have established some psychometric properties of the WPCA, including its interrater reliability and face validity with at-risk youth ages 16 to 21.
The WCPA has potential to lead directly to interventions such as the development of strategies connected to school success.
Occupational therapy has an opportunity to expand its role to better prepare at-risk youth with the skills and habits necessary for success in life.
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