Occupational Therapy Intervention Approaches

Specific strategies selected to direct the process of intervention that are based on the client's desired outcome, evaluation data, and evidence.

Approach - Focus of Intervention - Examples
Create, promote (health promotion)- An intervention approach that does not assume a disability is present or that any factors would interfere with performance. This approach is designed to provide enriched contextual and activity experiences that will enhance performance for all persons in the natural contexts of life.
Performance skills Create a parenting class to help first-time parents engage their children in developmentally appropriate play.
Performance patterns Promote effective handling of stress by creating time use routines with healthy clients.
Context or contexts or physical environments Promote a diversity of sensory play experiences by recommending a variety of equipment for playgrounds and other play areas.
Activity demands Serve food family style in the congregate dining area to increase the opportunities for socialization.
Client factors (body functions, body structures) Promote increased endurance by recommending year-round daily outdoor recess for all school children.

Design a dance program for senior citizens that will enhance strength and flexibility.
Establish, restore (remediation, restoration)- An intervention approach designed to change client variables to establish a skill or ability that has not yet developed or to restore a skill or ability that has been impaired.
Performance skills Provide adjustable desk chairs to improve client sitting posture.

Work with senior community centers to offer driving educational programs targeted at improving driving skills for persons ages 65 or older.
Performance patterns Collaborate with clients to help them establish morning routines needed to arrive at school or work on time.

Provide classes in fatigue management for cancer patients and their families.

Collaborate with clients to help them establish healthy sleep-wake patterns.

Develop walking programs at the local mall for employees and community members.
Client factors (body functions, body structures) Support daily physical education classes for entire population of children in a school aimed at improving physical strength and endurance.

Collaborate with schools and businesses to establish universal-design models in their buildings, classrooms, and so forth.

Gradually increase time required to complete a computer game to increase client's attention span.
Maintain - An intervention approach designed to provide the supports that will allow clients to preserve the performance capabilities they have regained, that continue to meet their occupational needs, or both. The assumption is that, without continued maintenance intervention, performance would decrease, occupational needs would not be met, or both, thereby affecting health and quality of life.
Performance skills Maintain the ability of the client to organize tools by providing a tool outline painted on a pegboard.

Develop a refresher safety program for industrial organizations to remind workers of the need to continue to use safety skills on the job.

Provide a program for community-dwelling older adults to maintain motor and praxis skills.
Performance patterns Enable client to maintain appropriate medication schedule by providing a timer to aid with memory.

Establish occupational performance patterns to maintain a healthy lifestyle after significant weight loss.
Context or contexts or physical environments Maintain safe and independent access for persons with low vision by recommending increased hallway lighting.

During a natural disaster, work with facilities identified as "shelters" to provide play and leisure activities for displaced people to allow a constructive outlet and semblance of normalcy.

Incorporate principles of universal design in homes to allow people to age in place.
Activity demands Maintain independent gardening for persons with arthritic hands by recommending tools with modified grips, long-handled tools, seating alternatives, raised gardens, and so forth.
Client factors (body functions, body structures) Provide multisensory activities in which nursing-home residents may participate to maintain alertness.

Provide hand-based thumb splint for client use during periods of stressful or prolonged intensive activity to maintain pain-free joints.
Modify (compensation, adaptation)- An intervention approach directed at "finding ways to revise the current context or activity demands to support performance in the natural setting, including compensatory techniques such as enhancing some features to provide cues or reducing other features to reduce distractibility".
Performance patterns Provide a visual schedule to help a student follow routines and transition easily between activities at home and school.

Simplify task sequence to help a person with cognitive issues complete a morning self-care routine.
Context or contexts or physical environments Assist a family in determining requirements for building a ramp at home for a family member who is returning home after physical rehabilitation.

Consult with builders in designing homes that will allow families the ability to provide living space for aging parents (e.g., bedroom, and full bath on the main floor of a multilevel dwelling).

Modify the number of people in a room to decrease client's distractibility.
Activity demands Adapt writing surface used in classroom by fourth grader by adding adjustable incline board.

Assist a patient with a terminal illness and his or her family in modifying tasks to maintain engagement.

Consult with school teams on placement of switches to increase students' access to computers, augmentative communication devices, environmental devices, and so forth.

Provide a seat at the assembly station to allow a client with decreased standing tolerance to be able to continue to perform.
Prevent (disability prevention)- An intervention approach designed to address clients with or without a disability who are at risk for occupational performance problems. This approach is designed to prevent the occurrence or evolution of barriers to performance in context. Interventions may be directed at client, context, or activity variables.
Performance skills Prevent poor posture when sitting for prolonged periods by providing a chair with proper back support.
Performance patterns Aid in the prevention of illicit chemical substance use by introducing self-initiated routine strategies that support drug-free behavior.
Context or contexts or physical environments Prevent social isolation of employees by promoting participation in after-work group activities.

Reduce risk of falls by modifying the environment and removing known hazards in the home (e.g., throw rugs).
Activity demands Prevent back injury by providing instruction in proper lifting techniques.
Client factors (body functions, body structures) Prevent repetitive stress injury by suggesting that clients wear a wrist support splint when typing.

Consultation with hotel chain to provide an ergonomics educational program designed to prevent back injuries in housekeepers.