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Addressing activity needs and priorities through occupational therapy services is important in influencing a client’s overall health, well-being, and participation in society.

The ACS-Aus (18-64) is an Australian version of Activity Card Sort developed as a tool for occupational therapists to assess activity engagement for adults aged 18-64 years, and subsequently promote client-centered interventions that facilitate meaningful participation.

The ACS-Aus (18-64) consists of 85 cards, each with text labels and photographs depicting age and culturally appropriate activities that belong to one of three domains: Daily Life, Recreation and Relaxation, Physical Activities. The domains provide a structure for recording and highlighting areas for intervention.

Two versions of the instrument have been developed: (1) The Recovery Version provides the therapist with a tool to detect changes in activity participation patterns (2) The Community Living Version provides the therapist with a tool for assessing activity engagement to guide client-centered intervention planning and promote activity engagement.

To complete the ACS-Aus (18-64), the client sorts 85 different age-appropriate activity cards into different categories consistent with their current level of participation (approx. 20 minutes to complete). The sorting process facilitates discussion regarding activity engagement, the role that activities play in their life, and the impact of disability or illness on activity engagement.

Relevant Literature:

  • The methodology used to develop the tool is described in Gustafsson, L., de Jonge, D, Lai, Y., Muuse, J., Naude, N., & Hoyle, M. (2014). Development of an Activity Card Sort for Australian Adults aged 18-64 years. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61(6), 403-414.
  • The test-retest reliability and internal consistency has been evaluated in Gustafsson, L., Hung, IHM, Liddle, J. (2017). Test-retest reliability and internal consistency of the Activity Card Sort- Australia (18-64). OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health, 37(1), 50 -56.
  • The tool has been used to evaluate the impact of Parkinson’s disease on the activity engagement and participation of people across the lifespan and results are presented in Bryant C., Gustafsson, L., Liddle, J., Stillerova, T. (2017).
  • Comparing activity engagement of people aged 18 to 64 years with and without Parkinson’s disease. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81 2: 101-105. doi:10.1177/0308022617722472

Downloadable materials for ACS-Aus (18-64):

  • Activity cards (set of 85)
  • ACS-Aus(18-64) Manual with appended scorecards and category cue cards for The Recovery Version and The Community Living Version

Instructions for downloadable materials:

  • The ACS-Aus (18-64) is designed to be administered as a Q sort activity with the client physically sorting the cards into each category of engagement. Therefore, the activity cards should be printed, cut into individual cards, and laminated.
  • The category cue cards are in the appendices at the end of manual and can be copied with the scoresheets. They should also be cut into individual cards and laminated. 


Any queries can be directed to Louise Gustafsson at