Occupational Therapists Network

Current Trends Affecting Occupational Therapy

There are multiple trends that affect occupational therapy today, including changes in the economy and work conditions, early retirement, stress on the job, and higher rates of family, emotional, and mental health problems. Other factors and trends include an increased emphasis on disease prevention and healthy lifestyle to reduce healthcare costs. Higher rates of survival after work-related and other injuries and incidents also affect current trends and explain the high demand for professionals with experience. The general public is also more informed about health concerns and factors that affect health.


Therapists with experience are in high demand, with almost no unemployment and good job prospects in this occupation. Most professionals are employed in the social assistance and healthcare sectors and given the aging population, increasing life expectancy, and demographic profile, more occupational therapists will be needed in the future in light of the fact that prevention has grown in importance. The shift toward prevention and ambulatory care also means that the prospects for occupational therapists are good. Professionals in the field are also involved in hand writing programs, play therapy, functional capacity evaluation, and injury prevention. Today, occupational therapists have multiple responsibilities to handle, including wheelchair prescription, caregiver education, stress management, hand therapy, and work-to-work programs and case management. Some therapists also work together with designers, architects, and contractors and offer advice on health-related home modifications to improve access and level of comfort. Others work for retail businesses and offer advice on daily living equipment, bathroom safety devices and features, and mobility equipment. Today therapists work with customers of all ages and more, and more professionals work in private practices.