Role of Occupational Therapy in Primary Care. Am J Occup Ther 2020;74(Supplement_3):7413410040. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S3001
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) affirms that occupational therapy practitioners1 are well prepared to contribute to interprofessional collaborative care teams addressing the primary care needs of individuals across the life course. Because of an increased focus on preventive population health and social determinants of health by health care organizations, synergy between primary care and occupational therapy is growing, with support for client-centered,2 comprehensive whole-person care, health promotion and prevention, disease self-management, and quality of life (Halle et al., 2018). Occupational therapy practitioners’ distinct knowledge of the significant impact that roles, habits, and routines have on health and wellness makes their contribution to primary care valuable (AOTA, 2020b). Occupational therapy’s focus on meaningful engagement in occupations is relevant and vital to participation in individual, family, and community life (AOTA, 2020c). In addition, occupational therapy practitioners’ holistic and population perspectives allow them to be effective both as interprofessional health care team members and as direct care providers to support client, family, and community needs in primary care delivery models (Leland et al., 2017). The purposes of this position paper are to define primary care and to describe occupational therapy’s evolving and advancing role in primary care, including expansion of services into specialty primary care areas such as pediatric primary care and obstetrics and gynecology (AOTA, 2018).
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