Comprehensive definitions of Occupational Therapy in dictionary and
education as a subject. Sample sentences and example
pictures are used to illustrate exact meaning of
AbbreviationFinder: Browse our list of all acronyms
and abbreviations related to Occupational Therapy with
their full meanings and definitions. Sorted by
popularity and categorized within Occupational Therapy.
Occupational therapy is a health discipline that is about
promoting health through activity, and supporting people in carrying out
activities and participating in society. In occupational therapy, activities are
used directly in treatment and training, and indirectly by facilitating tasks
through adaptation of the environment and the use of technical
aids. Professionals trained in occupational therapy are called occupational
Occupational therapy is based on the close relationship between the
activities we perform and our health. Health problems can lead to activity
restrictions, and improper execution of activities can cause health problems. It
is this connection that is the starting point for all occupational
therapy. Occupational therapists can, through adaptation of activities, help
prevent health damage and promote health.
Within occupational therapy, there are seven specialties or professional
arenas: Public Health, Children's Health, Elderly Health, Mental
Health, Somatic Health, Occupational Health and Public Health.
Occupational therapy is an international health profession that originated in
the United States in the early 1900s. It was first used in mental health care,
where the use of activities in treatment proved beneficial. Gradually,
occupational therapy played a key role in rehabilitating the injured after the
First and Second World Wars. The first occupational therapist education in
Norway came in Oslo in 1952, the same year that the Norwegian Occupational
Therapy Association was founded. Until 1975, the subject was called occupational
Occupational therapy is used in various areas of the health and social
services. It is a current offering to people of all ages who, due to illness or
injury, have had trouble performing daily chores. It is also used to
prevent strain injuries where work and activities are performed in an
unfortunate manner, and is used to prevent relapse or worsening of illness and
Occupational therapy can also be health-promoting and aimed at the general
population through teaching, information and participation in community
planning. Designing the environment to promote accessibility for all
(see universal design ) is an example of this. Occupational therapy illustrates
the relationship between health, environment and activity.
In occupational therapy there are several tools that are used.
Exercise in daily chores is done by motivation and by facilitating necessary
and desired activities. Examples are activities in daily living ( ADL ) such as
personal hygiene, undressing and dressing, eating and drinking. Or it can be
training in more complex activities such as housework, purchasing, managing your
own finances or taking care of leisure activities.
Training and guidance can be done individually or in groups. It is emphasized
that the individual should have the opportunity to participate in activities
with others in the workplace, school, kindergarten, local environment and
society at large.
Adaptation and facilitation
Adaptation and organization of activities takes place through advice on how
activities are performed to promote coping and health. Alternative work
techniques, simplification of routines, use of activity diary for memory failure
are examples of such measures. Aids can be the adaptation of aids to facilitate
the performance of daily activities, better communication and increase work
ability. This can be anything from small appliances in the kitchen to computer
equipment in the workplace.
Functional assessment and training
Functional assessment and training is something that the occupational
therapist contributes to in treatment programs and as part
of rehabilitation. This often happens with other professional groups in a
multidisciplinary team. Investigation is done by means of testing and
observation in activities, conversations, tests and surveys.
The training is aimed at functions that are fundamental to mastering complex
activities in daily life. Touch senses, bodily movement, hand function,
concentration and memory, interaction and communication are examples of such
functions. Daily activities, leisure activities and creative activities are used
as instruments in the treatment.
Insight into one's own possibilities and limitations is central to being able
to influence one's life situation. Through guidance, counseling and information,
the occupational therapist seeks to increase the individual's knowledge of the
connection between functional difficulties and daily activities, activity and
health. Through conversation and own experiences in activity situations,
occupational therapy seeks to contribute to the acceptance of one's own life
situation and that the individual becomes more aware of what are important
activities to master and participate in in order to achieve a meaningful
Facilitating the environment
The design and organization of the surroundings are measures that
occupational therapists apply to individuals or the general population. In case
of functional problems, aids can help improve the function of the person using
them, or compensate for lost function, so that daily activities can be performed
more easily (see aids ). The adaptation of the dwelling is relevant for people
with disabilities, so that they can function safely and live as full a life as
possible. See accommodation.
Education and authorization
In order to practice occupational therapy, one must be a professional
educator and have authorization as an occupational therapist.