The emerging role of occupational therapy in primary care.

Canadian journal of occupational therapy. Revue canadienne d'ergotherapie

PubMedID: 24783488

Donnelly CA, Brenchley CL, Crawford CN, Letts LJ. The emerging role of occupational therapy in primary care. Can J Occup Ther. 2014;81(1):51-61.
BACKGROUND
Few studies have examined the role of occupational therapy working in a primary care setting.

PURPOSE
The objective of the study was to describe the emerging role of occupational therapy in Family Health Teams, a model of interprofessional primary care.

METHOD
A multiple case study design was used to provide in-depth description of the occupational therapy role. Data collection included interviews, document analyses, and questionnaires. Each case was first analyzed individually, followed by cross-case analyses to determine common themes.

FINDINGS
The role of occupational therapy in Family Health Teams epitomizes that of a generalist, whose overarching focus is on function. Occupational therapists are working across the life span with a wide range of client populations. Older adults and individuals with complex chronic conditions are two prominent areas of occupational therapy focus.

IMPLICATIONS
Understanding the impact of health conditions on daily function and enabling participation in activities are unique and important contributions of occupational therapy.