Abstract

Both occupational and physical therapy have historical roots in worker rehabilitation; however, the core philosophies and areas of expertise of these professions suggest there may be inherent differences in the ways each approaches therapeutic intervention. This study surveyed 600 occupational and physical therapists in the United States to determine the nature and scope of work-related practice, and the degree to which occupation-based strategies are used by either profession. The overall response rate was 54% (n = 324), and 76% of respondents (n = 246) were actively engaged in providing work-related services. Results indicate that both professions provide all services commonly associated with work-related therapy in almost equal proportions. Few significant differences were identified between the professions in terms of approaches to therapy, and findings did not reveal the use of occupation-based interventions to any greater degree by occupational therapists.

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