Occupational Therapy practitioners, through their education and training, have the skills to evaluate worker capacities, task performance, and the work environment, and to provide interventions related to these areas.
Using a client-centered perspective, occupational therapists evaluate the impact of wellness, cognition, physical disabilities, psychosocial factors, and medical conditions on work performance. In particular, occupational therapists possess the distinct ability to evaluate the intersection of an individual’s physical, cognitive, and psycho-social work demands and the work environment through evidence-based task analysis.
An Occupational Therapy evaluation identifies supports and barriers to success in the work environment, including work culture, that can be addressed in the intervention plan to enhance work performance. An Occupational Therapist also considers other contexts and environments that may support or hinder the individual’s ability to fulfill the worker role, such as access to transportation and the ability to dress oneself in a timely manner for the work day. These specialized evaluation skills allow the Occupational Therapist to understand and deliver results in the complex psychosocial and physical work environment (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2011).