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Long Term Objectives Back to full work capacity. During her depressed state, Martina has been unreliable, unpunctual and not motivated to go to work. After intervention, Martina would like to be motivated and restore her occupational performance in her role as a worker.

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model of human occupation
Long Term Objectives
  • Back to full work capacity. During her depressed state, Martina has been unreliable, unpunctual and not motivated to go to work. After intervention, Martina would like to be motivated and restore her occupational performance in her role as a worker.
  • Engaging in meaningful occupations (art, Zumba). Through these occupations, Martina hopes to restore her occupational life balance. Through attending classes, Martina can also meet new people and build her support network. Zumba will improve her self efficacy, and contribute to restoration of endorphins in the brain, increasing her mental wellbeing. Martina is very passionate about art, and sees it as a therapeutic tool, which will help Martina incorporate leisure occupations in her life (balancing the occupations that she currently engages in).
  • Martina would like to improve her role as a mother. Her occupational therapist feels that involvement in a support group for her son’s condition would be beneficial to her recovery and understanding her son’s autism (providing support, advice and skills).
  • Currently Martina sees a psychologist irregularly , and when she is feeling overwhelmed or overly depressed, she cancels appointments so that she does not have to deal with her problems. Her occupational therapist has suggested constant involvement with a psychologist to determine why Martina relapses into depressive states. The psychologist will also provide grief counselling after the death of Martina’s mother (which was the cause of her relapse into depression this time). Martina has also agreed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as she feels more severely depressed when intoxicated, and also unable to think rationally or give her son the support he needs.
  • ENABLERS: Lives close to school, town, shops. Owns own car. Has a licence. Sister willing to babysit. Seeing a psychologist. Gotten past depression before. Medication. Enjoys art/ Zumba. Support group (help with son). Son at school during the day, giving her time to help herself).
  • BARRIERS: Son’s learning difficulty. Mother’s passing. Low motivation levels, low self esteem. Son’s soccer training etc. Work roster. Anxiety levels. Low support network after mother dying (father is mourning). Irrational thought patterns. Lack of sleep. No consistency with medication. Unreliable car (and she lives 20 mins from work).


Brief description of model.... The Model of Human Occupation was first published in 1980 by Gary Kielhofner.....

The Model of Human Occupation was applied to Martina, a 31 year-old woman with a history of chronic depression and substance abuse. Her 7 year-old son Ben has recently been diagnosed with a mild case of autism. Ben was conceived to a man in a one-off sexual encounter while Martina was intoxicated (at a time when she was severely depressed and using alcohol as a support). Ben’s father is therefore not present in his life.

Her mother recently died, leading to the return of her depression. Martina’s father lives 2 blocks away but is currently grieving the loss of his wife. Martina’s older sister lives interstate and visits once a month, but is currently living with their father to assist him with the grieving process.

Model Application

Volition:) At present Martina sees herself as a bad mother, as she is unable to provide ben with the support and patience he requires due to her depression. This has made Martina loose her self-worth and feel unable to cope with her sons condition and everyday living. Normally Martina prides herself on being a good mother whom is able to juggle her work schedule, her sons needs and look after her own health. Martina usually values a good self image and enjoys forfilling the role of being a mother and provider. Martina’s interests include painting and drawing, and attending Zumba sessions at her local gym. However Since the return of her depression, Martina has discontinued her involvement in these occupations.

Habituation: Martina has a routine that she follows daily, she gets her son dressed, fed and ready for school, walks him to school, comes home and does the cleaning and is then free to enjoy her zumba and art interests, until she picks ben up and then spends time with him doing homework, she gets ben bathed and fed and they sit down together to watch their favourite programs on tv, she reads to ben before putting him to bed. Martina is employed as a checkout operator at Target three days a week during school hour and fits her Zumba classes in on the days she is not working martina paints on weekends. She also takes her son to soccer training and a game every Saturday morning. However since the relapse of her depression martina has been struggling to keep up with her routine, as she has been lacking motivation to do her zumba and art and has been knocking back work shifts due to feeling unwell with her depression. She would prefer to sleep when ben is at school and drink day and night for comfort.

Performance Capacity: Martina is quite a healthy capable woman. She has good co-ordination, muscle strength, cognitive functioning, sequencing and endurance skills. This makes her very capable of carrying out her worker role, her zumba classes, her role as a mother and her artistic hobbies. But due to her depression martina has had no energy and a lack of interest in doing any of her usual activities.

Environment: Martina lives in a two bedroom townhouse, which is within walking distance of ben’s school, shops and public transport. Her father lives two block’s down the road. Martina has quite a good social environment. She has a good work environment, her boss is approachable and she has a few friends that are staff. Her gym has a very supportive environment. Her father living two block’s away provides martina with a shoulder to lean on when she requires it and whilest her sister is staying she is able to drop ben there whenever she needs time to herself or to go to work..`

Skills: Generally, martina’s motor skills, processing skills and communication skills are quite good, however her depression has affected martina’s communication skills in that she would prefer to stay at home and keep her problems to herself. Her processing skills have also been affected as she has been having irratioinal thought processes, affecting her occupational roles, performance, identity, competence and participation. This is due to martina’s feeling of low self-esteem and lack of motivation to want to do anything due to her depression, affecting her occupational balance.

Model of Human Occupation

Model Description

Within MOHO, humans are conceptualised as being made up of three interrelated components: volition (the motivation for occupation); habituation (the process by which occupation is organised into patterns or routines); and performance capacity (the physical and mental abilities that underlie skilled occupational performance) (MOHO Clearinghouse, 2011).

MOHO views therapy as a process in which people are helped to do things in order to shape their occupational abilities and identities, helping to maintain, restore and reorganise their occupational lives (Forsyth, & Kielhofner, 2001).

MOHO explores the importance of understanding physical and social environments in which occupational performance takes place (MOHO Clearinghouse, 2011).

Georgina Wrack, ZarliTreskow and Joel Byrnes


The MOHO was designed to be applicable throughout the lifespan, making it relevant to Martina, who has experienced depression at multiple times, at different stages and with different results. Her depression was affecting her involvement in meaningful occupations.


MOHO Clearinghouse, 2011.

Forsyth, K., & Kielhofner, G. (2001) Foundations for Practice in Occupational Therapy. Chapter 6., p. 69-107. Elsevier Limited, 2006. Churchill, Livingstone.