Context and Environment


Customs, beliefs, activity patterns, behavior standards, and expectations accepted by the society of which the client is a member. Includes ethnicity and values as well as political aspects, such as laws that affect access to resources and affirm personal rights. Also includes opportunities for education, employment, and economic support.

Person: Shaking hands when being introduced.
Organization: Employees marking the end of the work week with casual dress on Friday.
Population: Celebrating Independence Day


Features of the individual that are not part of a health condition or health status. Personal context includes age, gender, socioeconomic status, and educational status. Can also include organizational levels (e.g., volunteers and employees) and population levels (e.g., members of society).

Person: Twenty-five-year-old unemployed man with a high school diploma.
Organization: Volunteers working in a homeless shelter.
Population: Teenage women who are pregnant or new mothers.


Natural and built nonhuman environment and the objects in them:
1)Natural environment includes geopgraphic terrain, sensory qualities of environment, plants and animals.
2)Built environment and objects includes buildings, furniture, tools or devices.

Person: Individual's house, apartment.
Organization: Office building, factory.
Population: Transportation system.


Is constructed by presence, relationships, and expectations of persons, organizations, populations.
1. Availability and expectations of significant individuals, such as spouse, friends, and caregivers.
2. Relationships with individuals, groups, or organizations.
3. Relationships with systems (e.g., political, legal, economic, institutional) that are influential in establishing norms, role expectations, and social routines.

Person: Friends, colleagues.
Organization: Advisory board.
Population: City government.


Location of occupational performance in time. The experience of time as shaped by engagement in occupations. The temporal aspects of occupation "which contribute to the patterns of daily occupations" are " the rhythm... tempo... synchronization... duration... and sequence". Includes stages of life, time of day or year, duration, rhythm of activity, or history.

Person: A person retired from work for 10 years.
Organization: Annual fundraising campaign.
Population: Engaging in siestas or high teas.


Environment in which communication occurs by means of airways or computers and an absence of physical contact. Incudes simulated or real-time or near-time existence of an environment via chat rooms, email, video-conferencing, radio transmissions.

Person: Text message to a friend.
Organization: Video conference, telephone conference call, instant message, interactive white boards among all the members.
Population: Virtual community of gamers.