Last updated date: 13-Mar-2023

    Originally Written in English




    Ergotherapy is also known as occupational therapy (OT), and it is a global healthcare specialty. It entails the use of evaluation and intervention to build, restore, or preserve individuals', groups', or communities' meaningful activities or professions. It is a separate health profession that is sometimes referred to as an allied health profession and is made up of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants (OTA). Occupational therapists frequently deal with persons who have mental health issues, disabilities, injuries, or impairments.

    An occupational therapist is defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association as someone who "enables individuals of all ages to engage in the tasks they desire and/or need to perform via the therapeutic utilization of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy procedures include assisting disabled children in fully participating in school and social circumstances, injury rehabilitation, and giving assistance for elderly persons undergoing physical and cognitive changes." The substance of definitions provided by professional occupational therapy organizations outside of North America is comparable.

    Occupational therapists are often university-educated professionals who must pass a license exam before they may practice. Physical therapists, speech–language pathologists, audiologists, nurses, social workers, psychologists, physicians, and assistive technology specialists frequently collaborate with occupational therapists.


    What is Ergotherapy?

    occupational therapy

    Ergo is derived from the Greek word ''ergon''. Its definition is 'to compose,' 'to produce,' and Ergotherapy involves composing and implementing a strategy for enhancing the patient's health. Given that the ability to be healed is a possibility that every individual possesses, the aforementioned technique seeks to assist people in this regard.

    Ergotherapy (occupational therapy) is a treatment for mobility and coordination issues. It assists people in improving the motor skills required for everyday tasks such as writing and dressing. These abilities include fine and gross motor capabilities, as well as motor planning. Therapists also work with patients to improve their coordination, balance, and self-regulation abilities.

    At school, children can receive free OT. Adults, on the other hand, must locate a private therapist. (Doctors are frequently able to refer private occupational therapists.) OT may or may not be covered by insurance.

    The need for OT can arise at any age and for a variety of causes. However, there are long-term diseases that affect motor abilities beginning in childhood. Developmental problem is one of them.

    While OT can help adults with developmental disorders, it is most beneficial with children. And the earlier overtime begins, the better.

    The most significant distinction between ergotherapy and physiotherapy is that ergotherapy involves observation whereas physiotherapy involves activity.


    How Occupational Therapists Work?

    Occupational Therapist

    • Assessment:

    Initial and recurring assessments are used in the occupational therapy procedure. Together with the person they are working with, the occupational therapist focuses on individual and environmental abilities, as well as challenges connected to tasks in the person's daily life.

    The use of standardised methods, interviews, observations in a range of contexts, and interaction with relevant persons in the person's life are all part of the assessment process.


    • Planning:

    The evaluation results serve as the foundation for the treatment plan, which includes both short and long-term therapeutic goals. The plan should be tailored to the individual's developmental stage, habits, roles, lifestyle choices, and surroundings.


    • Intervention:

    Intervention focuses on initiatives that are both person-centered and environmentally conscious. These are intended to aid in the performance of daily duties as well as the adaption of situations in which the individual works, lives, and socializes. Examples include teaching new skills and giving equipment that promote independence in personal care, lowering environmental barriers, and offering stress-relieving resources.


    • Cooperation:

    Occupational therapists recognise the importance of teamwork. Cooperation and coordination with other professionals, families, caregivers and volunteers are important in the realisation of the holistic approach.


    How Does Occupational Therapy Help?

    Occupational Therapy Help

    An occupational therapist will investigate why a client is unable to perform what they want or need to do. An OT may check:
    • Physical qualities such as strength, balance, and coordination.
    • Memory, coping methods, and organizing skills are examples of mental abilities.
    • What objects or gadgets, such as furniture, utensils, tools, or clothing, do you utilize to engage in activities.
    • What social and emotional support do you have at home, school, work, or in the community, and where can you get it.
    • Your home's, classroom's, workplace's, or other environment's physical configuration.


    Depending on what the problem is, the occupational therapist can help you solve it by:

    1. Helping you overcome your disability. OTs do this by:

    • educating or instructing you on how to do things with the abilities you have - e.g. getting around your community in a wheelchair.
    • suggesting activities that will help you improve or maintain the abilities you have - e.g. improving your coping strategies.


    2. Adapting the materials you use.  OTs do this by changing the things you use:

    • around the house – e.g. a special key holder to make turning keys easier.
    • in sports or leisure activities – e.g. a playing cards holder.
    • at work or school – e.g. special tools that help prevent injury to hands and back.
    • to take care of yourself – e.g. special bath or toilet seats.
    • to get from place to place – e.g. car modifications such as one-handed steering wheels.


    3. Recommending changes to the environments where you do your everyday activities. OTs do this by recommending that you:

    • change the physical layout of your workplace, home or school – e.g. lowering/raising desk tops, countertops or cupboards.
    • find out about the supports in your community – e.g. specialized public transportation.
    • work with the people in your community – e.g. providing education about a disability to the teacher or employer.
    • work with the government to encourage health living – e.g. request funding for special equipment.


    Through client-centred care, occupational therapists not only help overcome barriers but help prevent:
    • unnecessary hospital stays and readmissions.
    • premature moves to a nursing home.
    • work injuries due to poor work station positioning and other organizational strains.
    • school dropouts due to poor attention spans or reading and writing difficulties.
    • unemployment among people with a developmental disability or a mental illness.


    Who Might Need Occupational Therapy?

    Occupational Therapy

    OT can help kids and teens who have:


    Who Do Occupational Therapists Work With?

    Older people

    Occupational therapists treat a wide range of disorders in adults and children of all ages.

    Most typically, they assist persons suffering from mental illnesses, as well as those with physical or learning difficulties. And you'll find them assisting people to live their best lives in health care, social care, housing, education, and volunteer organizations.

    Many occupational therapists operate independently and with members of the public, asylum seekers and refugees, police or fire departments, or psychiatric services.

    1. Children and young people:

    Occupational therapists help newborns, infants, children, and young adults develop, flourish, and realize their full potential by assisting them in growing, learning, having fun, socializing, and playing.

    The emphasis might be on self-care, such as getting ready to go out, having a meal, or using the restroom. It might have anything to do with being productive, such as going to daycare or school or volunteering. It might also be about enhancing their capacity to play with friends, compete in sports, or participate in hobbies.

    2. People with physical disabilities and long-term conditions:

    Occupational therapists assist patients with physical limitations and chronic illnesses in making the most of their lives.

    The emphasis is on achieving an ideal level, regardless of the barrier. This frequently entails considering how an activity, or the physical or social context in which it takes place, might be improved or adapted to make things simpler. Equally essential, the therapist will talk about how someone feels about their abilities to solve difficulties.

    3. People with learning disabilities:

    Occupational therapists assist persons with all forms of learning difficulties in living, working, and participating in leisure activities as independently as possible.

    These activities range from things around the house, such as cooking, to taking public transportation to take advantage of their community's resources. The purpose might be to encourage individuals to volunteer or work, or to assist with parenting skills. Occupational therapists frequently attempt to incorporate other family members and support workers in their approach - so that everyone knows the individual's requirements.

    4. People with mental health conditions:

    Occupational therapists assist persons with a variety of mental health disorders in engaging in ordinary activities that provide a feeling of purpose and improve their chances of recovery.

    The goal might be to increase self-care, such as by re-establishing a morning routine, going for frequent walks, or learning to make healthier foods. It might be about better managing funds by creating a budget. Alternatively, the emphasis might be on regaining courage to go out again, interact with neighbors, or join a local club. Occupational therapists also assist clients in developing professional skills so that they may apply for jobs and advance their careers.

    5. Older people:

    Occupational therapists assist older individuals in engaging in activities that are meaningful to them, improving their well-being, and maintaining their health. This might involve putting in place measures that keep them secure and active, such as walking assistance or house modifications. Occupational therapists can also assist patients in locating additional chances for social contact and working with them to boost their confidence when meeting new individuals.

    6. People at the end of life:

    Occupational therapists assist patients in having a positive end of life by allowing them to continue doing what they like the most. They can educate individuals ideas and tactics for conserving energy for the activities they desire to accomplish. They may also organize equipment and make physical improvements to allow


    Occupational Therapy Versus Physical Therapy

    Physical Therapy

    Physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) seek to enhance people's lives. The fields are connected and have many similarities, but their focus and scope varies.

    • Understanding Occupational Therapy:

    Many individuals are unaware of occupational therapy, in part because the word is deceptive. It may appear to be related to occupations, but occupational therapists assist patients with a wide range of duties that "occupy" their lives. This might involve working with newborns who are far too young for employment and with elderly persons who have been retired for a long time.

    An occupational therapist can assist a person in returning to work when their physical or mental abilities change. Occupational therapists, on the other hand, treat the full person. They might aid in self-care routines, social connections, and recreational activities.

    Occupational therapists in the United States must have a master's degree and be licensed by their state. Approximately 143,300 individuals worked as occupational therapists in 2019.


    • Understanding Physical Therapy:

    Physical therapists are sometimes referred to as "movement specialists." They can assist those who desire to enhance their fitness and general well-being.

    Physical therapists assist clients in resuming normal activities following an accident or sickness. They also provide advice on how to minimize accidents, avoid surgery, and wean yourself off pain medication.

    Physical therapists in the United States must hold a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree, which typically takes three years to complete. Aside from biology, such as anatomy, neurobiology, and kinesiology, PTs also study communications, finance, and ethics. Their state requires them to be licensed.

    There were around 258,200 physical therapists in the United States in 2019.


    • Similarities Between OT and PT:

    There are several similarities between occupational therapy and physical therapy.

    • Programs for treatment: Occupational therapists and physical therapists assess patients and create personalized treatment regimens. They keep track of progress and adjust treatment programs as appropriate.
    • Conditions treated: Both cure a wide range of ailments, including:
    1. Amputation.
    2. Sports injuries.
    3. Neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
    4. Recovery after surgery.
    5. Concussion and other brain injuries.
    6. Spinal cord injury.
    7. Stroke.


    • Support team: Both work with family members and caregivers so that their clients get the support they need.
    • Client base: OTs and PTs treat people with medical issues in all stages of life, from infancy to old age.
    • Settings of practice: OTs and PTs practice in clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Both may provide care in people's homes through home health services. OTs also work in schools.  


    • Differences Between OT and PT:

    The primary distinction between occupational therapy and physical therapy is the scope of practice. Physical therapists often work to improve people's mobility.

    Occupational therapists, on the other hand, adopt a more comprehensive approach. OTs focus on a variety of social, emotional, and job-related issues in addition to physical performance.

    Someone who wants to go food shopping is an illustration of the distinction.

    A physical therapist would concentrate on what the individual needs to do physically to navigate through a huge store. This may entail getting in and out of the automobile as well as moving up and down the aisles. An occupational therapist can assist with tasks such as establishing a shopping list, finding products, and completing the checkout process.


    • OT and PT Specialties:

    Occupational and physical therapists can be specialists. Occupational therapists can specialize in six core areas:

    • Work and industry.
    • Health and wellness.
    • Children and youth.
    • Mental health.
    • Rehabilitation and disability.
    • Productive aging.

    Physical therapists can become board-certified in one of 10 areas:

    • Cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lungs)‌.
    • Clinical electrophysiology (treatments using electricity).
    • Geriatrics (conditions associated with aging).
    • Neurology (brain and nervous system).
    • Oncology ( such as blood oncology).
    • Orthopedics (bones and muscles).
    • Pediatrics (treatment of children).
    • Sports.
    • Women's health.
    • Wound management.


    How to Know Whether You Need OT or PT?

    OT or PT

    Occupational or physical therapy is frequently recommended by your doctor. Some folks experience both simultaneously. In such circumstances, the PT and OT should ideally collaborate.

    If you believe occupational or physical therapy will benefit you, you can get a prescription from your doctor. Some therapeutic services can also be obtained without the assistance of a doctor, albeit the procedure varies by state.


    Where Do You Get It?

    therapist at home

    Your therapist may come to your home, workplace, or school to create a treatment plan. OTs also work in many places like these:

    • Hospitals.
    • Rehab centers.
    • Outpatient clinics.
    • Nursing or assisted living homes.
    • Schools.
    • Private practice offices.
    • Prisons.
    • Corporate offices.
    • Industrial workplaces.


    How Much Does an Occupational Therapist Cost?

    Occupational therapists work in both private practice and for government agencies (such as hospitals). Because charges differ from therapist to therapist, customers are recommended to call and negotiate expenses with their therapist prior to hiring their services. Many occupational therapists are paid by government programs such as DVA, Medicare, and the NDIS. If you need to be referred through one of these programs, please speak with your doctor.




    Occupational therapy allows patients to participate in activities that they find important. Taking care of oneself (and others), working, volunteering, and engaging in hobbies, interests, and social events are examples of these activities.

    Occupational therapy is a client-centered health profession that entails regular examinations to determine what tasks you are capable of doing (and those you want to do). You and your occupational therapist will talk about any existing limits, your goals/motivations, and they may provide advice/techniques on how to perform things more simply and safely.

    Occupational therapists (OTs) prescribe equipment to assist you in performing the things you desire and need to complete. They will ensure that you can utilize the equipment in the most effective manner for your needs. This implies that you will receive a complete solution rather than simply a product.

    Occupational therapists work with people of all ages in a variety of settings. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private clinics, elderly care homes, schools, community health centers, and government organizations are all included.