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What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.

Occupational Therapists use everyday activities as the basis of a treatment to enable people to return to those activities following illness or injury.

Occupational therapists work for health and social care services but can also be accessed privately by members of the public looking to improve independence for themselves or their loved ones.


Assessment is core to the delivery of occupational therapy services. It serves as the foundation for all subsequent clinical decisions, professional opinionĀ intervention and recommendations. Completion of an occupational therapy assessmentĀ involves a comprehensive and consistent process, whether it is condensed into one visit or continued over several.


Occupational therapists consider the whole person when treating a client, and also look at the individual’s occupations such as their roles, habits, activities, and tasks as well as the environment in which he or she does those occupations.

Treatment is sometimes referred to as rehabilitation or reablement. There are many ways to provide such a service. Depending on the cause of the problem, each person is evaluated and a treatment plan is designed to fit his or her needs.

The first step in treatment is an evaluation process by the therapist. This helps the therapist determine the best treatment plan and frequency of treatments.