Definition of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession, the goal of which is, “To achieve functional outcomes that promote health, prevent injury or disability and develop, improve, sustain, or restore the highest possible level of independence (to) any individual who has an injury, illness, cognitive impairment, psycho–social dysfunction, mental illness, developmental or learning disability, physical disability, or other disorder or condition” (American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 48, 1072–1073).
It is the art and science of directing man’s participation in select tasks to restore, reinforce and enhance performance, facilitate learning of those skills and functions essential for adaptation and productivity, diminish or correct pathology and promote and maintain health.
Occupational therapy became established as a profession when services were needed to rehabilitate wounded and disabled soldiers after World War I, which lasted from 1914 to 1918. Occupational therapists evaluate, adapt, and teach daily living skills to help people attain maximum functional independence. People who are limited by physical injury or illness, psycho–social dysfunction, developmental delays, or the aging process, can benefit from occupational therapy.