Occupational therapy in the promotion of health and well-being 2020

A balanced pattern of occupations enhances the health and fulfills the needs of individuals, families, communities, and populations (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014b; Hocking, 2019; Meyer, 1922). Occupations are personalized “everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families, and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life” (World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 2012, para. 2). The purpose of this statement is to describe occupational therapy’s role and contribution in the areas of health promotion and prevention for internal and external audiences. AOTA supports and promotes the involvement of occupational therapy practitioners1 in the development and delivery of programs and services that promote health, well-being, and social participation of all people.

Access Denied

Your access to the NCBI website at has beentemporarily blocked due to a possible misuse/abuse situationinvolving your site. This is not an indication of a security issuesuch as a virus or attack. It could be something as simple as a runaway script or learning how to better use E-utilities,,for more efficient work such that your work does not impact the ability of other researchersto also use our site.To restore access and understand how to better interact with our siteto avoid this in the future, please have your system administratorcontact [email protected]

Definition “Occupation”

In occupational therapy, occupations refer to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. Occupations include things people need to, want to and are expected to do.

For further information, read the “Definitions of Occupational Therapy from Member Organisations revised 2010” document in the Resources.

Where Occupational Therapists work

Occupational therapists work with all age groups and in a wide range of physical and psychosocial areas.

Places of employment may include hospitals, clinics, day and rehabilitation centres, home care programmes, special schools, industry and private enterprise.

Many occupational therapists work in private practice and as educators and consultants.

How Occupational Therapists work


The occupational therapy process is based on initial and repeated assessments. The occupational therapist together with the person they are working with focus on individual and environmental abilities and problems related to activities in the person’s daily life.

Assessment includes the use of standardised procedures, interviews, observations in a variety of settings and consultation with significant people in the person’s life.


The results of the assessment are the basis of the plan which includes short and long-term aims of treatment. The plan should be relevant to the person’s development stage, habits, roles, life-style preferences and the environment.


Intervention focuses on programs that are person oriented and environmental. These are designed to facilitate the performance of everyday tasks and adaptation of settings in which the person works, lives and socialises. Examples include teaching new techniques and providing equipment which facilitate independence in personal care, reducing environmental barriers and providing resources to lessen stress.


Occupational therapists recognise the importance of teamwork. Cooperation and coordination with other professionals, families, caregivers and volunteers are important in the realisation of the holistic approach.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap