Abstract

The area of work evaluation is fertile ground for future research and development by occupational therapists. Current evaluations of work range from standardized work evaluations associated with vocational rehabilitation to highly technical physical capacity and work capacity instrumentation and equipment often associated with sports medicine. In addition, methods used to identify pain and abnormal illness behavior add the psychosocial component of work evaluation. The limitations of most of the traditional approaches to work evaluations are their lack of focus on the actual work environments and on the meaning of work to persons. Occupational therapy can play an important and unique role in linking work evaluations to psychosocial and environmental variables and in formulating comprehensive theoretical models of work that should improve and refine present work evaluations.

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