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What is Included in an Occupational Therapy Assessment?

By Rachel Burkot
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Occupational therapy is a rehabilitation program that helps patients perform the daily duties and operations that are important to them and are necessary for their lifestyles. During an occupational therapy assessment, the therapist conducts an interview with the patient and determines his or her ability to conduct self care and to participate in productivity and leisure activities. Self care includes hygiene, grooming, eating, sleeping, taking care of a home and getting from one place to another. Productivity refers to school, work and volunteer activities, while leisure can include a broad range of the patient’s interests and activities, including various community groups.

An occupational therapy assessment looks at a patient’s physical, mental and psychological abilities. The therapist determines how competent the patient is in each of these areas to determine the amount of therapy needed for each individual. An assessment will also typically include a planning and group intervention stage, during which the therapist makes an initial plan for the patient’s occupational therapy program, which may or may not include having the patient participate in a larger group setting. This plan can and should be adjusted as the therapist and patient spend more time together, and the patient’s needs unfold over time.

After an initial meeting and interview, an occupational therapy assessment can be extended to functional, home and standardized assessments. Functional assessments analyze which parts of daily functions give patients the most trouble, whether it is cooking, using public transportation or picking out an outfit. Home assessments are important to learn more about the environment the patient comes from. Many elements in the home may contribute to a patient’s inability to function on some level, making occupational therapy programs a necessity. A standardized occupational therapy assessment comes in the form of a test, such as the Cognitive Competency Test (CCT), which measures a patient’s current functions and abilities in different areas.

An occupational therapy assessment begins when a physician evaluates a patient and determines a need for this type of rehabilitation program. The doctor must write a detailed description of the patient’s circumstances and reasons for needing therapy, along with goals that the therapy should provide. This is then delivered to an occupational therapy facility, and a therapist is assigned to a specific patient. Often, occupational therapy assistants may come along on assessments to gain more experience in their new field. Sometimes students in occupational therapy school will also help with assessments to complete the fieldwork portion of their degree requirements.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Armas1313 — On Feb 18, 2011


With such a long name and an intimidating concept, I worry that this kind of mechanism would put too much pressure on my child.

By BigBloom — On Feb 17, 2011

The dynamic occupational therapy cognitive assessment for children is a helpful way to give a child an ambition or goal for adulthood at an early age. These decisions are seldom made at such a young age, but having some plan or direction in life can fuel a child's productivity ten-fold in school and in relationships.

By Leonidas226 — On Feb 16, 2011

Rehabilitation therapy is a helpful step toward recovery from a variety of accidents or illnesses. This is an important ladder to re-joining society as a productive and functioning individual and, depending on the disability, may require psychological aspects.

By TrogJoe19 — On Feb 15, 2011

Pediatric therapy requires a loving heart for kids, the ability to have fun and understand childhood development, and a lot of patience. Understanding different developmental disorders and how to foster a good environment for childhood learning are also important factors.

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