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What is Occupational Therapy?


The Association of Occupational Therapists in Ireland (AOTI) have recently defined Occupational Therapy as –


‘Occupational Therapy enables people to engage in the daily activities and occupations which are relevant to their lives.  Occupational Therapists use their skills to assess and identify an individual’s abilities and areas of difficulty in occupational performance, which are impacting on independent functioning. As occupational engagement can be supported or restricted by the environment, intervention may also involve making adaptations or changes to a person’s environment to enhance occupational participation’.


The aim of the Occupational Therapists in St Vincent’s University Hospital is to assess and treat patients with physical, social and psychosocial difficulties. We aim to enable our patients to be as independent as possible in their activities of daily living.  Occupational Therapists within St. Vincent’s University Hospital work in either physical or mental health.  Listed below are some examples of Occupational Therapy intervention in each of these areas:


Physical Health Occupational Therapy:

  • Following a variety of assessments, individualised treatment programmes are developed to improve a person’s ability to perform their activities of daily living

  • Assessments for assistive devices and adaptive equipment

  • Provision of adaptive equipment where appropriate

  • Upper limb assessments and rehabilitation including splinting, scar management and functional retraining

  • Comprehensive home assessments may be carried out to facilitate safe discharge from hospital and maximise independence within the home

  • Cognitive rehabilitation

  • Wheelchair and seating assessments and recommendations

  • Comprehensive pain management programmes

  • Education and advice is provided to patients, families and carers



Mental Health Occupational Therapy:


·        Goal setting

·        Relaxation

·        Anxiety management

·        Leisure enhancement

·        Lifestyle changes

·        Life skills

·        Task based groups

·        Kitchen and safety assessment and groups

·        Diversional groups

·        Functional Assessment


For more information on the role of Occupational Therapy within specific areas please click on the relevant links below.