Activity Analysis in Occupational Therapy

An occupational therapist holding hands of a client

Activity analysis in occupational therapy is derived from the job analysis techniques that were sued during World War I. When the injured soldiers were in rehab after the war, the occupational therapists used activity analysis to see how they progressed during their recovery.

Presently, the process of activity analysis has been more refined and includes perceptual, physical, psychological, cognitive, and social factors. Here’s all you need to know about activity analysis.

What Does the Research Say?

While activity analysis plays a major role in the practice of occupational therapy, there’s not a lot of research that supports it. Most of the information on occupational therapy-related activity analysis is confined to textbooks.

When we quickly go over the Evidence Exchange database for the American Occupational Therapy Association, we find out about different therapeutic activities and treatment modalities.

However, there is no evidence that focuses on activity analysis. When we search for activity analysis on the web, we get access to the articles that discuss its importance, but no research examines the practice.

Activity analysis is an underlying function of occupation therapy—more like second nature or a commonsense process to carry out. That’s why it hasn’t been rigorously examined, unlike other interventions.

Systematic Use

An occupational therapist must consider the way they use activity analysis. Most occupational therapists analyze activities in theheads. It becomes second nature to them.However, we must ask ourselves: Is it an ideal process to analyze an activity? What are we missing by performing activity analysis in this manner?

While most occupational therapists perform activity analysis this way, it’s not adequate when we need to establish the usefulness of the activity.

A 1993 study surveyed 100 occupational therapists about how they used activity analysis. Out of the entire sample size, only 2 people used written activity analysis as a standard practice. Others said that while written activity analysis was important, it was time-consuming.

Standardized Initial Evaluations

A way to incorporate activity analyses in the daily occupational therapy practice without spending a lot of time is to use standardized initial evaluations.  ADL assessments can show ways in which activity analysis can be added to an initial evaluation.

This can be evidenced in evaluation tools such as the Cleveland Scale of Activities of Daily Living and Klein-Bell Activities of Daily Living Scale.

Both these assessment tools can break down the activities of daily living into various components and associate performance ratings to those components.

Occupational Therapy with Our Home Health Care Services

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