What is the PEOP Model? Person-Environment-Occupation Performance
The Person-Environment-Occupation Performance (PEOP) model was first developed in 1985 by Baum and Christiansen during the time when the biomedical model was widely used.
The biomedical model is extremely clinician-based and only focuses on the physical processes (like injury or disease) and doesn’t consider the person’s individual factors. The PEOP model, however, focuses heavily on the client or patient.
At its core, the PEOP considers how environmental factors affect a client’s daily activities or occupations. What separates the PEOP from other models even more is that it groups these factors into either intrinsic or extrinsic factors.
The PEOP utilizes a top-down, or holistic, approach in evaluating a client’s current situation, which demonstrates a more holistic approach to care. Unlike the biomedical approach which just focuses on treating a symptom, the PEOP examines all the internal and external factors that may be affecting the client.
Intrinsic Factors in the PEOP Model
Intrinsic factors include…
- Physiological – sleep, strength, flexibility, stress, nutrition
- Cognitive – memory, reasoning, attention
- Spiritual – what has meaning to the person
- Neurobehavioral – motor & sensory input, balance, coordination
- Psychological – personality, self-esteem, self-awareness, motivation
Extrinsic Factors in the PEOP Model
Extrinsic factors include
- Social support – emotional support from close relationships
- Culture & values – customs, beliefs, traditions
- Social & economic systems – political or economic policies affecting health or employment
- Built environment & technology – buildings, public spaces, tools
- Natural environment – climate, terrain
The PEOP model uses a biopsychosocial approach, which takes into account the emotional, physical, and social factors that may influence a person’s occupational performance. This is the heart of occupational therapy, where practitioners consider the entire person during intervention instead of just their deficit areas.
Integrating the PEOP Model into Practice
When using the PEOP in occupational therapy practice, the therapist closely examines the client’s history and establishes their short and long-term goals, which highlights the client’s areas of weakness and strength.
It is important to complete a thorough history of the client during the evaluation, as even small details can have a huge impact on the course of treatment and outcomes.
Occupational therapists in any setting, from pediatrics to older adults, can incorporate the PEOP model into their practice. For the most success, OT practitioners will want to continually include their client in active and collaborative goal setting and planning.
Why to use the PEOP in practice:
- It offers a holistic approach
- It is client-centered
- It is easy to use for new therapists
Why not to use the PEOP in practice:
- There is currently only minimal research on validity or reliability
- It focuses more on long-term outcomes, as opposed to short-term outcomes
Models are the lenses in which occupational therapists look through when evaluating and treating patients or clients. The person-environment-occupation performance (PEOP) model is a top-down, holistic model which focuses on how the environment shapes a person’s occupational performance. This can be an extremely useful model for determining what treatments to use and how to best implement them for the best long-term outcomes for your patients or clients.
We’d love to know: Do you use the PEOP model? What are your thoughts on this model versus others? Let us know in the comments!
Christiansen CH, Baum CM & Bass-Haugen J (2005) Occupational therapy: Performance, participation and well-being (3rd edition) Thorofare NJ: SLACK incorporated
Christiansen CH, Baum CM & Bass-Haugen J (2015) Occupational therapy: Performance, participation and well-being (4th edition) Thorofare NJ: SLACK incorporated
Duncan E & Hagedorn R (2011) Foundations for practice in occupational therapy (5th ed) Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Lifelong learning with OT. (2015, October 23). Occupational Models: PEOP (Person-Environment- Occupation-Performance). https://lifelonglearningwithot.wordpress.com/tag/peop-model/
O’Brien, Jane Clifford & Hussey, Susan M. (2012). Introduction to Occupational Therapy, Fourth Edition. Elsevier Inc.
This post was co-written by Josh Albarado, OTR/L and Sarah Stromsdorfer, OTR/L.