This paper discusses the relationship of a theoretical frame of reference to the implementation of a work-oriented program. Three frames of reference in occupational therapy are reviewed, and work-related theories and approaches available to therapists are categorized under each. Examples of the application of various frames of reference are given through an analysis of work programs described in the occupational therapy literature. We recommend that therapists select and apply frames of reference systematically when developing work programs to facilitate the development of a body of knowledge in this area.

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