The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) asserts that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, through the use of occupations and activities, facilitate clients’ cognitive functioning to enhance occupational performance, self-efficacy, participation, and perceived quality of life. Cognitive processes are integral to effective performance across the broad range of daily occupations such as work, educational pursuits, home management, and play and leisure. Cognition plays an integral role in human development and in the ability to learn, retain, and use new information to enable occupational performance across the lifespan.

This statement defines the role of occupational therapy in evaluating and addressing cognitive functioning to help clients maintain and improve occupational performance. The intended primary audience is practitioners1 within the profession of occupational therapy. The statement also may be used to inform recipients of occupational therapy services, practitioners in other disciplines, and the wider community regarding occupational therapy theory and methods and to articulate the expertise of occupational therapy practitioners in addressing cognition and challenges in adapting to cognitive dysfunction.

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