CPD

What are the 5 Domains of Occupational Therapy?

Dr. Carl Clarkson
Dr. Carl Clarkson August 17, 2022
Occupational Therapist taking notes

Each industry, especially within healthcare, has a framework or guidelines that help professionals to do their job safely and effectively. In Occupational Therapy, this framework is split into domain and practice. In this article, we shed light on each domain of Occupational Therapy, as well as the three parts of Occupational Therapy process.

So, what are the 5 domains of Occupational Therapy? The 5 domains of Occupational Therapy (OT) are Occupations, Content & Environment, Performance Patterns, Performance Skills, and Client Factors. These domains help OT’s to assess a situation and go hand-in-hand with the 3 parts of OT process; Evaluation, Intervention, and Review.

Read on to learn more about the domains of Occupational Therapy, and the processes that go alongside them. 

What are all the Domains of Occupational Therapy?

The term domain covers the area in which Occupational Therapists (OT) work, and various factors that OT’s must consider when treating clients. Below you’ll find an overview of each of the 5 domains of OT. 

Occupations

OT’s must consider where in their client’s daily lives they need support. This may include at work or in school/education, home maintenance, leisure activities, during rest, or sleep. 

Contexts

Contexts cover the different elements, both physical and social, that may factor into a condition, such as the environment that a client lives in, or the presence of a carer. OT’s must think about the situations that may support or hinder occupational performance.

Performance Patterns

Performance patterns are habits, routines, and rituals that may impact a client’s health. What are the client’s daily routines and habits that may require support or assistance?

Performance Skills

Performance skills cover motor skills, process skills, and even social interaction skills. How does the client move their body, maintain balance, reach for and use items? What factors are impacting these skills?

Client Factors

Client factors cover anything from the client that could have an impact on their health, or their ability to get better, e.g. values and beliefs, spirituality, body functions, body structures, and other medical conditions. What factors personal to the client, both physical and mental, do OT’s need to consider when creating a care plan?

What Does Domain Mean in Occupational Therapy?

Domain in any profession helps stakeholders (professionals, clients, regulators, carers) to understand the focus of the profession. It describes what a professional group, in this case Occupational Therapists, are responsible for, and in which areas they can help. Domain highlights a profession’s knowledge and experience. 

What is the Process of Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy process describes the actions taken by OT’s when delivering services to clients. There are three parts of OT process; evaluation, intervention, and outcome, and within each of these parts the following factors must be considered:

  • Service delivery approaches
  • Practise within various settings
  • Therapeutic use of self
  • Clinical and professional reasoning
  • Occupational and activity analysis

Evaluation

The evaluation and assessment process is a critical part of OT, focused on determining what the client needs, what they can and cannot do, and what they want to achieve. Evaluation will also scope the level of support a client has, as well as any barriers to health that they may have. 

Intervention

After evaluation, OT’s can begin to plan their intervention to facilitate their clients’ engagement and participation in occupation, as well as helping to improve wellbeing. This comes in three stages; the intervention plan, implementation, and review. 

This may include typical OT interventions such as access modification, anxiety management training, and joint mobility exercises. But, it can also include interventions from other therapies like Acupuncture and Dry Needling, Sports Massage, and even Clinical Yoga. OT’s can easily learn to use such interventions through CPD training. 

Outcome

What are the results of the intervention? What can you learn and apply to ongoing care, or for future clients? Potential outcomes of OT include:

  • Occupational performance
  • Prevention
  • Health and wellness
  • Quality of life
  • Participation
  • Role competence
  • Well-being
  • Occupational justice

How Do Occupational Therapists Use Domain and Process?

Domain and practice are a crucial part of Occupational Therapy, helping OT’s to properly assess a client’s situation and condition, and put together a suitable care plan. This framework helps to achieve health, wellbeing, and participation through engagement in occupation. 

By factoring in the various elements of domain into their process, OTs truly tailor their service to each client with interventions that are considerate and impactful towards a client's situation and goals, thus potentially increasing the chance of successful outcomes. 

CPD Courses for Occupational Therapists at Breeze Academy

Breeze Academy offers a number of CPD courses for Occupational Therapists that may have a positive impact on the intervention process. Choose between foundation or advanced level Acupuncture and Dry Needling courses, Sports Massage Training, Clinical Yoga Teacher Training or Strength and Conditioning Training courses.

Learn more about our CPD courses online today and see how they could positively impact OT domain and process. You can also learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of CPD, and the importance of CPD for Occupational Therapists  in our recent blogs. 

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