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Recent Medicine Advice

Q: Occupational therapist.
What is meant by an occupational therapist?

Source: n/a

Dear Bhagyalakshmy s sreenivasan,

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession that finds its origins in a “strong belief in the therapeutic value of occupations” (Schwartz, 2003, p.5). The role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of;

“…purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health, prevent injury or disability and which develop, improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independence.” (AOTA Inc., 1994, p.1073)

A practical definition for OT can also be illustrated with the use of models such as the Occupational Performance Model (Australia), or the OPM(A). At the core of this approach is the ideology that occupational therapists are concerned with the occupations of people and how these contribute to health (Chapparo & Ranka, 1997b). Specifically it is a person’s occupational performance that influences their health and personal satisfaction of their individual needs. The OPM(A) is constructed on the following definition of Occupational Performance; "The ability to perceive, desire, recall, plan and carry out roles, routines, tasks and sub-tasks for the purpose of self-maintenance, productivity, leisure and rest in response to demands of the internal and/or external environment."

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