OBJECTIVE. We reviewed the evidence regarding the effectiveness of community occupational therapy interventions, delivered alone or within a multidisciplinary team, in improving occupational outcomes for adults with selected chronic diseases.
METHOD. We completed a scoping review of randomized controlled trials published from 1988 through 2008. Studies included participants with heart disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or diabetes.
RESULTS. Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Ten studies found significant differences between intervention and control groups for at least one outcome of function in activities of daily living, functional self-efficacy, social or work function, psychological health, general health, or quality of life. Conflicting evidence exists regarding the impact of intervention on physical function and health.
CONCLUSION. Occupational therapy can improve occupational outcomes in adults with chronic diseases. Using and building on this evidence, occupational therapists can continue to promote their role in helping to meet this population's needs.