Importance: Sustaining a stroke frequently leads to difficulties in returning to work, leisure, and social participation. These outcomes are important for occupational therapy practitioners to address.
Objective: To determine the current evidence for the effectiveness of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice to improve social participation, work, and leisure among adults poststroke.
Data Sources: MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, OTseeker, and Cochrane databases.
Study Selection and Data Collection: Primary inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed journal articles published between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2019, within the scope of occupational therapy that evaluated an intervention to address work, leisure, or social participation poststroke (levels of evidence ranged from Level 1b to Level 2b). Reviewers assessed records for inclusion, quality, and validity following Cochrane Collaboration and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.
Findings: Forty-seven articles met the inclusion criteria. Forty-four articles related to social participation were categorized as follows: occupation-based approaches, metacognitive strategy training, education and training approaches, impairment-based approaches, and enriched environment approaches. Three articles related to work and 3 articles related to leisure were not further categorized (2 articles were each included in two categories). Seventeen Level 1b and 30 Level 2b articles were included. The strength of evidence to support occupational therapy interventions for social participation, work, and leisure outcomes is predominantly low.
Conclusions and Relevance: Occupational therapy interventions may improve work, leisure, and social participation outcomes poststroke, with the strongest evidence existing for client education, upper extremity training, and cognitive training for improving social participation.
What This Article Adds: Occupational therapy practitioners may use the available literature along with clinical reasoning to improve work, leisure, and social participation outcomes among clients poststroke. Additional research is required to build stronger evidence to support clinical decision making in stroke rehabilitation in these areas.