World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)
Occupational Therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement (WFOT 2012).
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. 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 standardized 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 socializes. 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 recognize the importance of teamwork. Cooperation and coordination with other professionals, families, caregivers and volunteers are important in the realization of the holistic approach. The WFOT directly links 73 member organizations around the world, with an individual membership of in excess of 25,000 therapists and a national organization membership that represents over 350,000 occupational therapists internationally.
WFOT has prepared guidelines to assist qualified occupational therapists who are interested in working outside their own country. This can be a unique, enriching professional and personal experience, for which the individual therapist needs to plan carefully. Refer to the ‘Employment in WFOT Member Countries' in the Resource Centre.
AOTA's Centennial Vision has identified wellness as a key societal need in the 21st century. Factors that will drive an increasing need for wellness-related services are based on an accumulating body of scientific evidence that an individual's health is directly related to physical as well as emotional well-being.Factors that will increase the need for services in this area include a growing aging population with increased longevity; an increased focus on health care disparities affecting treatment and services; the health effects of rising rates of obesity; and factors that challenge the quality and pace of life, including technology and imbalances in life roles.
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
Rehabilitation is at the core of occupational therapy and addresses the needs of persons with injuries, illnesses, or deficits in occupational performance due to other causes.