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Oregon OT Scope of Practice

Definition of Occupational Therapy

“Occupational therapy” means the analysis and use of purposeful activity with individuals who are limited by physical injury or illness, developmental or learning disabilities, psycho-social dysfunctions or the aging process in order to maximize independence, prevent disability and maintain health. The practice of occupational therapy encompasses evaluation, treatment and consultation. Specific occupational therapy services includes but is not limited to: Activities of daily living (ADL); perceptual motor and sensory integrated activity; development of work and leisure skills; the design, fabrication or application of selected orthotics or prosthetic devices; the use of specifically designed crafts; guidance in the selection and use of adaptive equipment; exercises to enhance functional performance; prevocational evaluation and training; performing and interpreting manual muscle and range of motion test; and appraisal and adaptation of environments for people with mental and physical disabilities. The services are provided individually, in groups, or through social systems.

The Practice of Occupational Therapy

 "Occupational Therapy" further defines scope of practice as meaning the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of participation in roles and situations in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings. Occupational therapy services are provided for the purpose of promoting health and wellness and to those who have or are at risk for developing an illness, injury, disease, disorder, condition, impairment, disability, activity limitation, or participation restriction. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance in a variety of contexts to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life:

Occupational Therapists use selected methods or strategies to direct the process of interventions such as:

    • Establish, remediate or restore skill or ability that has not yet developed or is impaired;
    • Compensate, modify, or adapt activity or environment to enhance performance;
    • Maintain and enhance capabilities without which performance in everyday life activities would decline;
    • Promote health and wellness to enable or enhance performance in everyday life activities;
    • Prevent barriers to performance, including disability prevention.

Occupational Therapists evaluate factors affecting activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), education, work, play, leisure, and social participation, including:

    • Client factors, including body functions (such as neuromuscular, sensory, visual, perceptual, cognitive) and body structures (such as cardiovascular, digestive, integumentary, genitourinary systems);
    • Habits, routines, roles and behavior patterns;
    • Cultural, physical, environmental, social, and spiritual contexts and activity demands that affect performance;
    • Performance skills, including motor, process, and communication/interaction skills.

Occupational Therapists use the following interventions and procedures to promote or enhance safety and performance in activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), education, work, play, leisure, and social participation, including

    • Therapeutic use of occupations, exercise, and activities;
    • Training in self-care, self-management, home management and community/work reintegration;
    • Development, remediation, or compensation of physical, cognitive, neuromuscular, sensory functions and behavior skills;
    • Therapeutic use of self, including one's personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments, as part of the therapeutic process;
    • Education and training of individuals, including family members, caregivers, and others;
    • Care coordination, case management, and transition services;
    • Consultative services to groups, programs, organizations, or communications;
    • Modification of environments (home, work, school, or community) and adaptation of processes, including the application of ergonomic principles;
    • Assessment, design, fabrication, application, fitting, and training in assistive technology, adaptive devise, and orthotic devices, and training in the use of prosthetic devices;
    • Assessment, recommendation, and training in techniques to enhance functional mobility, including wheelchair management;
    • Driver rehabilitation and community mobility;
    • Management of feeding and eating to enable swallowing performance;
    • Application of physical agent modalities, and use of a range of specific therapeutic procedures (such as wound care management; techniques to enhance sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processing, manual therapy techniques) to enhance performance skills as they relate to occupational therapy services.

Advanced Practice

Occupational Therapy in Mental Health and Behavioral Health Practice

Early Intervention and Children’s Services


ORS 675.340

OAR 339-010-0005

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