Purpose: Restrictions to activity and participation in persons with cerebral palsy or spina bifida are often due to both motor and executive dysfunction. Hence methods focusing solely on motor issues are not enough to enhance participation. The Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance ApproachTM is a performance-based approach offering clients opportunities to create their own strategies to learn skills. The aim of the present study was to explore and describe experiences of the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance Approach as reported by young adults with cerebral palsy or spina bifida.
Methods: Qualitative content analysis was used. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with the 10 participants aged 16–28, post-intervention and at 6-months follow-up.
Results: The participants described how the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance Approach enhanced their self-efficacy. Four categories describing the participants’ experiences emerged: “CO-OP is a different way of learning”, “CO-OP sometimes puts a strain on me”, “CO-OP supports my way of thinking and doing” and “CO-OP boosts me”.
Conclusion: The young adults expressed that the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance intervention, although sometimes challenging, was worth the effort because it provided them with an opportunity to master everyday-life problems by using meta-cognitive thinking, which enhanced their self-efficacy.