Occupational therapy professionals focus on the occupational health of individuals, families, and populations. Occupational therapy is an evidence-based health discipline that maximizes health and well-being through engagement in occupation despite illness, injury, disability, or economic or social circumstances. Family health is an essential aspect of occupational therapy practice. Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages across the life span as well as families, organizations, and populations to promote health, functioning, and participation in life activities.
This entry provides a brief historical context of occupational therapy practice and an overview of the centrality of occupation in the lives of individuals and families. Further, the focus of family care and current trends in working with families in occupational therapy are described in terms of how these trends impact occupational therapy education. Family and individual health outcomes related to occupation-based goals and interventions using a family-centered approach in the context of current global economic and social stressors are highlighted.
Education for competent and compassionate occupational therapy professionals is discussed, with recommendations for developing professionals who can design interventions targeting individuals, caregivers, and family members to promote and improve health and well-being. Finally, this entry describes broader societal issues of family health and health care that are relevant to the education of occupational therapy professionals.
Occupational therapy as a health profession emerged in the early 20th century in the U.K in response to the need for therapeutic activities related to work, play, and rest to address the personal, emotional, spiritual, physical, and social needs of persons experiencing mental and physical illnesses or injury. Occupations are actions, habits, routines, or rituals that we engage in as part of our lives that give us meaning and purpose. Occupations can involve diverse activities that are part of our work, play, or how we care for ourselves and family members or significant others (activities of daily living).
Occupations can also be leisure or play activities or how we engage socially in our communities. Occupations are defined as acts of doing and being in the world that are subjectively, culturally, and socially defined by the person(s) who engages in them. Occupations are considered necessary for survival. The purpose of occupational therapy is to promote health and well-being as well as work with individuals, families, organizations, and populations to problem-solve ways to enhance functioning in order to fully participate in meaningful life activities.
One of the priorities of health development in the United Kingdom is the creation, implementation and further development of the most promising model of primary health care. Occupational therapy is therapy that aims to adapt to our limits and our physical and mental potential through meaningful activities, whether domestic, work, recreation and games. The occupational therapist is involved in physical and mental health among people of all ages who have various issues that affect their independence, caused either by disease or the effects of disease, trauma, mental health, developmental disabilities, disabilities, disability or aging.
The occupational therapist helps solve functional problems in promoting the ...