Role of Occupational Therapy in Healthcare

Role of Occupational Therapy in Healthcare

Role of an occupational therapist, Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability (AOTA)

Occupational Performance is the domain of concern of Occupational Therapy. The areas of this domain are performance areas, performance contexts and performance components.
Performance areas are ADL, Work/ Productive activities and Play/ Leisure

Performance components are Sensorimotor, Cognitive/ Cognitive intervention Psychosocial and psychological aspects.
The treatment continuum addresses performance areas and performance components of occupational Performance.


We offer online Online Therapy services for children with developmental deficits. 

Intervention Level One: Adjunctive Method

This may include exercises, facilitation and inhibition techniques, positioning and sensory stimulation, selected physical agent modalities, and may also utilise splints and braces. This starts during acute phase of illness and may continue to next stages of intervention.

Intervention level two: Enabling Activities

Purposeful activity requires active participation of the patient. Some enabling activities are sanding boards, shoulder wheels, pegboards, driving simulators. Activities like usage of wheelchairs, ambulatory aids, and communication devices are also enabling and may be used during rehabilitation process.


Intervention Level Three: Purposeful activities

Purposeful activities include activities that that have an inherent goal and which are meaningful to the patient. These include treatment for independence in areas of Self Care, Hygiene, feeding, mobility, arts and crafts, work and education. At this level, OT is concerned primarily with assessing and remediating deficits in performance areas.





Intervention Level Four: Occupation

The highest stage of treatment engages the patient efficiently in the area of his occupation.
Steps of Occupational Therapy Intervention Process are:
Screening-Evaluation- Intervention Planning- Intervention- Re-evaluation- Transition Service- Discontinuation of Service

Occupational Therapy assessments are performed for limitations In Range of Motion, Muscle strength, Visual/ Perceptual Deficits, Sensory evaluations, Motor Control, Perceptual Motor deficits, Cognitive Dysfunction and pain Management.
Various approaches like Rood’s, Bobath, Brunnstrom for Hemiplegia, Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation approach are used.

Areas where OTs intervene are Cerebrovascular accidents, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Degenerative disease of Central Nervous Systems, Spinal Cord Injuries, Neurogenic and Myopathic Dysfunction, Arthritis, Fractures, Low back pain, Burns, Amputations and prosthetics, oncology, cardiac and pulmonary diseases and so on.

Example of how and where an Occupational Therapist intervenes for a school going child:

  • Cognition: Higher functions like problem-solving, attention, processing speed, memory and comprehension
  • Eye- Hand coordination for writing on the blackboard, throwing and catching a ball, etc.)
  • Fine-motor skills for handwriting, typing on a keyboard, using scissors, arts and crafts material
  • Gross-motor skills for motor imitation during dance and poetry class, running, climbing
  • Grasping and manipulating tools such as pencils, scissors, rulers, fork and knife
  • Hygiene and self care
  • Social interaction with peer groups
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management
  • Help with reducing/ removing extra stimuli to be able to focus in classroom lessons

Role of an occupational therapist

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Amruta Tamboli
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