Occupational Therapy: What is an OT Assessment?

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OT assessment

An occupational therapist’s primary goal is to help restore and maintain a person’s independence, after this person has experienced an illness or injury that resulted in limited mobility, a medical condition, or a disability. There are a number of different methods used by occupational therapists to determine the exact limitations an individual may face, and one of these methods is known as an OT assessment.

An OT assessment can be used for people of all ages who are seeing an occupational therapist for an illness or injury that continues to affect their daily living. But what is an OT assessment, how do they work, and who needs them? Find out below! 

What is an OT Assessment?

An occupational therapist (OT) assessment is a multi-step process that determines the ways in which an individual’s life has been impacted by an injury, illness, disability or other physical ailment. This person may be facing challenges with self-care, mood, social interaction or mobility; but an OT assessment will help determine exactly what kind of problems they are having and how to address them. 

An occupational therapist in Townsville can use many different tools when creating an OT assessment for their patient. These tools might involve observing the patient using basic daily activities like eating or dressing themselves, asking them questions about how they feel about things like returning to work or learning new tasks, creating a mock living space at home to see what kinds of room there is for improvement in the patient’s environment, and even creating puzzles and games that will allow the therapist to observe how well the patient does with attention span and problem solving.

OT Assessments: What Happens Next?

An OT assessment is a great first step towards using an occupational therapist to improve your daily life after experiencing a debilitating medical condition or injury; but what happens next? How can you move forward from such a neutral starting point?

After finishing an OT assessment, the therapist will work with their client to create a “home program” that will help them learn new tasks or improve upon existing ones. An example of this might be learning how to use adaptive equipment at home, like kitchen utensils designed for people who have limited mobility in their hands, or a special computer mouse that might be easier for the patient to manage. The OT will also teach their patients how to clean or cook safely, while still avoiding injury.

However, OT assessments do not end with a “home program,” and an occupational therapist will always evaluate a client periodically throughout their treatment to check in on their progress with daily living activities like eating or dressing themselves. Depending upon the severity of an individual’s injury or illness, they may even perform additional assessments as needed; but all this must be done under the guidance of their therapist, who can determine exactly what is needed at any given time.

OT Assessments: Who Needs Them?

An occupational therapist uses assessments like these to determine people’s unique set of challenges and limitations after an injury or illness, but who are these assessments typically performed on?

OT assessments are used for all kinds of people, including children who have experienced a medical condition like cancer that has left them with lasting effects to their motor skills. An OT assessment may also help determine the best way to approach learning how to feed themselves while avoiding injuries that can occur while holding utensils. Likewise, older adults who have had experiences stroke might benefit greatly from OT visits if they are having trouble performing daily tasks due to mobility issues.

Compassionate Occupational Therapists on the Sunshine Coast 

Coastal Rehab practices occupational therapy with a patient-centric philosophy aimed at reducing the barriers to success. They care about their clients and genuinely strive to help them achieve health, happiness, and fulfilment, and want to see every client attain a happy and independent life.

Coastal Rehab has provided professional OT rehabilitation and assessment services to the Sunshine Coast community for more than two decades. When working with them, you are guaranteed to receive the utmost respect, understanding, and expert opinion on your case.