Occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. It is a therapeutic, rehabilitative process that uses purposeful tasks and activities to improve health; prevent further injury or disability; enhance quality of life; and develop, sustain, or restore the highest possible level of independence. It typically includes a comprehensive evaluation of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), assessment of an individual’s functional status, the development and implementation of a customized treatment program, and recommendations for adaptive modifications in home and work environments as well as training in the use of appropriate assistive technology devices.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. Patients who benefit from occupational therapy, or OT, include people who have had strokes, people with autism and other developmental disorders, people recovering from certain surgeries (including hip replacements), people who suffer from depression or anxiety.
Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.