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Occupational Therapy

See also: Occupational Therapy Pre-Health Guide

Occupational therapy is the art and science of helping people of all ages perform day-to-day occupations (purposeful activities) that occupy people’s time and give meaning to their lives despite illness, injury, or trauma. Occupational therapy services may include adapting one’s tasks or environment, promoting normal development, providing assistive devices, or teaching compensatory techniques. The goals of intervention are to achieve maximum independence and to enhance an individual’s quality of life, including promotion of wellness and prevention of injury.

Occupational therapists are members of the professional health care team who are trained to assess the individual within the contexts of his or her physical, social, and cultural environment, developmental stage, chronological age, current life cycle phase, and disability status. Therapists perform and interpret tests and measurements of sensory, neurological, muscular, skeletal, motor, cognitive, psychosocial, and psychological function and processing to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning. Occupational  therapists practice in a variety of acute, sub-acute, and community-based settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, schools, nursing homes, mental health centers, and home health.