Executive functioning: A scoping review of the occupational therapy literature / Les fonctions exécutives : une analyse de la portée de la littérature en ergothérapie Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Increasingly recognized as an important factor in the performance of complex, goal-directed tasks, executive functioning is understood in different ways across disciplines. PURPOSE: The aim was to explore the ways in which executive functioning is conceptualized, discussed, described, and implied in the occupational therapy literature. METHOD: A scoping review of the occupational therapy literature was conducted following Levac, Colquhoun, and O'Brien's (2010) recommended methodology. RESULTS: Executive functioning is described both as a set of performance component skills or processes and as the executive occupational performance inherent in complex occupations. Executive functioning is implicit in occupational performance and engagement, and some health conditions seem to be commonly associated with impaired executive functioning. Assessing executive functioning requires dynamic occupation- and performance-based assessment. Interventions targeting executive functioning are grounded in metacognitive approaches. CONCLUSION: Executive functioning is a complex construct that is conceptualized with considerable variance within the occupational therapy literature, creating barriers to effective service delivery.


  • Cramm, Heidi A
  • Krupa, Terry M
  • Missiuna, Cheryl
  • Lysaght, Rosemary M
  • Parker, Kevin H

publication date

  • June 2013